Navigating 276, 278 Applications in Sexual Assault Cases Since the Passing of Bill C-51

Speaker/s: Dawne Way, Jill Witkin, Jacob Legault

Date: Tue, February 22, 2022

Start Time: 9:30 am

End Time: 12:00 pm

Location: Zoom webinar

Cost: Free

CPD Credits: 2.5 hours

Description: The law related to pre- trial applications in sexual assault cases is complex and continually evolving as more cases are litigated under s.276 and s.278 of the Criminal Code.
You won’t want to miss the exceptional expertise of our panelists, two of which recently appeared as counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada in the companion cases of A.S. (Reddick) v. Her Majesty the Queen and Her Majesty the Queen v. J.J., which will determine the constitutionality and process for various aspects of the new provisions.


Dawne Way was called to the bar in 1997 and joined the Crown Attorney’s office in 2000. Dawne launched Way Law in 2007 and developed her practice primarily representing victims of crime in criminal proceedings and assisting organizations in criminal matters. The majority of Way Law clients are survivors of sexual assault, many of whom are children. She finds working with her clients intensely gratifying and fulfilling developing a special bond that transcends typical client/lawyer relationships. She is the author of “Representing the Victim in a Sexual Assault Proceeding” in Prosecuting and Defending Sexual Assault Offence Cases: A Practitioner’s Handbook by Daniel Brown and Jill Witkin.  Dawne’s primary focus is advocating for and representing sexual assault survivors with trial preparation and privacy protection. She also represents and advises organizations such as hospitals, counselling services, women’s shelters and corporations in criminal law matters and their obligations when subpoenaed. As a leader in the legal profession, Way Law will train other lawyers and organizations on victim’s rights.

Jill Witkin has worked as a Crown Prosecutor in Toronto since 1994. Since 2016 she has worked as Crown counsel at the Crown Law Office, Criminal and is Chair of the Criminal Law Division’s Sexual Violence Advisory Group (SVAG). She was co-chair of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial working group on Access to Justice for Adult Sexual Assault Victims. Jill was Deputy Crown Attorney at Old City Hall from 2009-2015 and prior to that she was Team Leader of the Child Abuse Team (Toronto office) from 2007-2009. She does trial and appellate work involving cases of sexual assault and child abuse. Jill is involved in sexual assault legal education for lawyers, judges, police, investigators and community stakeholders. She was past director of the Ontario Crown Attorney’s Association summer school courses “Sexual and Domestic Violence” and “Sexual Offences”. Jill has conducted workshops in Uganda, Africa teaching justice participants how to effectively interview children and adduce a child’s evidence in court. Jill completed her Master of Laws in 2002 in Melbourne, Australia which included a thesis on videolink testimony in the courtroom. Jill is co-author of the book “Prosecuting and Defending Sexual Offence Cases” (1st and 2nd editions) part of the Emond Criminal Law Series.

Jacob Legault has been working at the Bayne Sellar Ertel Carter since 2013. He started as a student in 2013 and completed his articles with the firm in 2016. He has been practising in both French and English as a criminal defence lawyer since his call to the bar in 2016. Jacob has experience in a variety of criminal and quasi-criminal matters, including impaired driving, assault, sexual assault, forcible confinement, trafficking and firearm offences. Jacob has experience in various levels of Court, including the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice (Judge alone and Jury trials). Since 2018, Jacob has been a Junior Director of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa.

In the last 5 years, Jacob has experience defending sexual assault allegations in Ontario, primarily in the Ottawa region and at the Provincial Court level. He also has experience in preparing and litigating 276 and 278.92 Applications under the new legislation.

This CPD has been approved for 2.5 hours by the Law Society of British Columbia and may be applied towards the mandatory 12 hour Continuing Professional Development requirement in both BC and Yukon.

Click here to download the Powerpoint Presentation.