The Alberta government has introduced a bill that would require new provincial court judges to be trained in sexual assault law and to recognize stereotypes that lead to prejudice and social bias against victims.
All applicants would have to fulfil the educational requirement before they could become eligible to be appointed to the bench.
The training would not apply to existing judges.
Premier Jason Kenney said if passed, Bill 14, the Provincial Court Amendment Act, would build public confidence in the justice system, better support victims and could encourage more reports of sexual assault.
Similar legislation was introduced by Rona Ambrose, former interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, as a private member’s bill in 2017.
The bill received royal assent in Parliament last year and requires federal judges to learn about sexual assault myths, stereotypes and biases about race, gender and other aspects of identity.
Similar legislation is before Manitoba’s legislature and has been passed in Prince Edward Island.
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