01 April 2016

Why Tom Mulcair is wrong... yet again #nlpoli #cdnpoli

Tom Mulcair isn't alone.

A lot of people have been making the extremely dangerous argument over the past few days that we ought to accept any claim or accusation based solely on the fact that someone made it.

They have been using the Twitter hashtag #Ibelievesurvivors to argue that we should believe any woman making an accusation of sexual assault regardless of anything else.

Lawyer Marie Henein rejected the idea forcefully in an interview with Peter Mansbridge the other night.  It's worth quoting the words she used to dismiss an idea that Donald Trump would have no trouble endorsing if it was made not about sexual assault but about terrorism or immigrants.

Here's a chunk of the CBC story on the interview:
Henein told Mansbridge that  #IBelieveSurvivors is not a legal principle, nor should it be, as you can't just believe people based on who they are or the nature of the crime.  
"We would never want that and historically when that has happened, it's never been to the benefit of the most disadvantaged or the most marginalized.  
"We don't presumptively believe police officers. we don't presumptively believe politicians or priests or whatever it is."
Did Jian Ghomeshi assault three women?

It's possible.

Should he be convicted based on the evidence of three people who we know - as a matter of fact - lied about issues related to their accusations?

Absolutely not.