Canadian Supreme Court rules consent cannot be given when unconscious (duh!)

It’s a sad state of affairs when you need a Supreme Court to tell you an unconscious person can’t give consent!

No consent in unconscious sex case: Supreme Court

A woman cannot give advance consent to sexual activity while unconscious, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday.

The decision restores the conviction of an Ottawa man who regularly practised consensual erotic asphyxiation with his longtime girlfriend.

The case goes back to a particular episode in 2007 when the woman, who cannot be named because of a publication ban, complained to police about what her partner did to her after she passed out. At trial, the man was found guilty of sexual assault but his conviction was overturned on appeal.

On Friday, in a 6-3 decision, the country’s top court restored the conviction. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said consent ends once someone is unconscious or asleep.

“If the complainant is unconscious during the sexual activity, she has no real way of knowing what happened and whether her partner exceeded the bounds of her consent,” the ruling said.

Here’s a dissenting viewpoint:

“The approach advocated by the Chief Justice would also result in the criminalization of a broad range of conduct that Parliament cannot have intended to capture in its definition of the offense of sexual assault. Notably, it would criminalize kissing or caressing a sleeping partner, however gently and affectionately.”

Sounds like they’re protecting male entitlement. I hardly doubt any rational woman would run to court to press charges against her partner for kissing or caressing her. And if a person is not suppose to be kissing, caressing, or anything else- well, it should be a human right to seek protection from somebody doing something against our will.

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