Sexual Assault on Trial: Ghomeshi, Survivors, Media & the Law

Since Jian Ghomeshi’s high profile court case and acquittal in March 2016, sexual assault survivors, the legal world, the media, and the public have weighed in on the shortfalls of the criminal justice system when it comes to dealing with sexual assault. The panel will ask what we have learned from the public discourse around the Ghomeshi trials and start a conversation about how we can better serve survivors of sexual assault.

This panel discussion will address the challenge of respecting fundamental principles of justice for the defendant while fostering a better space for survivors within the criminal justice system. Moderated by Margot Young of the Allard School of Law, panelists include legal experts in sexual assault trials, and experts on the impact on survivors, and the media’s response. Read below for information on the panelists. This event is supported by Alumni UBC.

We acknowledge that this event is taking place on the traditional, ancestral and unceded land of the Musqueam people.

Event Details

Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 7:00-9pm
Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre, 6163 University Boulevard, (Wayfinding at UBC), Jack Poole Hall, 2nd floor

REGISTRATION: This event is open to the public and free of charge but pre-registration is required. Please register using the form below. Light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.

Registration is now limited to wait list only, as we have reached capacity for our event. Should spots open up, wait-listed registrants will be contacted by the Equity and Inclusion Office via email. If you have further questions, please contact us at


Young, Margot

Margot Young (Moderator) – Professor, Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia

Margot Young is a Professor in the Allard School of Law at UBC. She teaches and researches in the areas of constitutional law, socioeconomic rights and women’s inequality. Currently Chair of the Faculty Association Status of Women, Professor Young is a frequent media commentator. She is active in work with equality seeking community groups and is on the boards of directors of Justice for Girls and the David Suzuki Foundation.



Natalie Clark – Instructor and Chair, Field Education, School of Social Work, University of British Columbia

Natalie Clark, M.S.W. PhD (abd) is currently on faculty with the School of Social Work at UBC, in addition to her ongoing work with Thompson Rivers University and the Justice Institute of BC. Natalie teaches front-line, undergraduate and graduate courses on trauma practice. Natalie’s work is informed and mobilized through her interconnected identities including her metis ancestry; as a solo-parent of three Secwepmec children and part of the Secwepemc community; an academic; a community based researcher and counsellor. Natalie’s practice, teaching and research over the last 20 years have focused on trauma with children, youth and their families and communities and the coping responses to trauma and violence including experiences with issues of sexual exploitation; eating disorders; addictions, youth justice and health. Natalie continues to practice and provide training on violence, resistance and resiliency through her practice in trauma-informed girls groups, and the development and delivery of Indigenous girls groups for youth in partnership with the Interior Indian Friendship Society and School District 73 Aboriginal Programs.


Jennifer Koshan – Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary

Jennifer Koshan is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. Before joining the Faculty, she worked for several years as a Crown prosecutor in the Northwest Territories, and as Legal Director of West Coast LEAF. Her research and teaching focuses on constitutional law, human rights, legal responses to interpersonal violence, and feminist legal theory. She is currently working on two book projects: a co-authored textbook on human rights law and a co-edited collection of essays on marital rape. She also coordinates the Faculty’s blog, ABlawg, which has won several Canadian Law Blog Awards. Jennifer contributes to the legal work of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) and The Equality Effect, which is undertaking human rights work in the context of violence against women and girls in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. In 2013 she was awarded the Canadian Association of Law Teachers’ Prize for Academic Excellence, which honours exceptional contributions to research and law teaching by a Canadian law teacher in mid-career.


Lucia M. Lorenzi – Department of English Research Assistant, TRaCE Project University of British Columbia

Dr. Lucia Lorenzi is a recent graduate of the PhD program in English Literature at UBC. Her research focuses on representations of sexual violence in Canadian literature and other media, with a specific focus on the strategic use of silence. Her forthcoming research will focus on perpetrator narratives and their public reception. Her advocacy and activism also focuses on sexual assault, especially within the context of campus sexual violence. She is a frequent media commentator and has recently served on the University Expert Panel providing recommendations for the development of UBC’s stand-alone sexual assault policy.


Audience members are encouraged to ask questions during a post-panel discussion. Some audience members may find the subject matter of this panel difficult. Active listeners from the Sexual Assault Support Centre will be present to provide support to anyone who needs it.

The Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre is fully accessible and the event is open to all interested. If you require reserved seating or other accommodations to participate fully in this event, please contact the Equity and Inclusion Office at by June 8.

The recommended parking location is the nearby Health Sciences Parkade: click here for location.

Supported by:
Alumni UBC, Centre for Accessibility, Centre for Feminist Legal Studies at the Allard School of Law, Equity and Inclusion Office, UBC Faculty Association – Status of Women Committee, Sexual Assault Support Centre, and Student Development Services.

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