CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Plaxton on Privacy, Voyeurism, and Statutory Interpretation

Michael Plaxton (College of Law, University of Saskatchewan) has posted Privacy, Voyeurism, and Statutory Interpretation: Reading Jarvis ((2020) Criminal Law Quarterly (Forthcoming)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In Jarvis, a high school teacher was found to have used a camera pen to video-record the chest and cleavage of female students and one female teacher. The central issue was whether this constituted voyeurism under section 162(1)(c). In resolving that question, the Supreme Court of Canada was called upon to interpret the phrase “circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy” – which I will reference as “the privacy clause”.

Ultimately, a majority of the Court concluded that the defendant’s conduct was indeed encompassed by the provision. That result squared nicely with the moral intuitions of many onlookers. In this comment, however, I do not focus on the substantive implications of the majority’s ruling. Instead, I dwell on the techniques used by the majority to interpret the privacy clause. For the majority’s approach is intriguing both for what it says and does not say about how it is appropriate to interpret criminal offence provisions.

| Permalink


Post a comment