Criminal Law Response to Tech Facilitated Violence Against Women & Girls

Posted on Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Centre for Law, Technology and Society and The Shirley E. Greenberg Chair for Women and the Legal Profession are delighted to present:


Open Season on Women?
Criminal Law Response to Tech Facilitated Violence Against Women and Girls

Click here to watch the video recording

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017, at 11:30 AM
Fauteux Hall, Room 351



  • Jane Bailey
    Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
  • Carissima Mathen
    Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa



With growing public awareness of the ways in which technologies, in various forms, can be used to perpetrate violence against women and girls (VAWG), long-standing feminist questions about the role of criminal law in responding to VAWG have resurfaced. First, can criminal law respond? Does existing criminal law cover the kinds of abuses that are manifesting in digitally networked environments? Second, should criminal law be used to address technologically-facilitated violence against women and girls (TFVAWG)? In particular, how should feminist advocates respond to the claim that penal models may eclipse “competing models of social justice” and effectively incorporate carceral politics “into the domestic terrain in a benevolent, feminist guise”? This paper focuses on reported jurisprudence involving TFVAWG from across Canada. Part I provides an overview of TFVAWG and related Canadian criminal law cases. It introduces some technology-specific terminology and provides an overview of some of the kinds of behaviours and consequences involved as well as the offences prosecuted in the cases we reviewed. Part II addresses the wrongfulness of TFVAWG, why it merits criminal censure, and the extent to which the offences being charged in the identified cases capture the essence of the wrong in issue. Part III returns to some of the cases outlined in Part I in order to explore two ways in which survivor-centred outcomes can be compromised in TFVAWG cases: the sometimes-competing assessments of concepts such as “harm”, “violence” and “injury”; and implicit and explicit judgments about which victims are deserving of the criminal law’s protection.


This is a free event. 


Light lunch will be provided. Open to everyone!

This event will be in English only.
The event will be recorded, and photos may be taken.

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