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Barbara Kay: Nova Scotia hitman case reinforces gender bias of Canadian courts

Article here. Excerpt:

'The more I read, the more bizarre it got.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled this week on a case where an allegation of spousal abuse – never substantiated – is the heart of a troubling story that has concluded in law, but has certainly not brought any sense of moral closure to those who track gender bias in the courts. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Here’s the story. A Nova Scotian couple, Nicole Doucet Ryan and Michael Ryan, who have one daughter, separate in 2007. In March 2008, Nicole is arrested for trying to hire a hit man for $25,000 (her exchange of money with an undercover RCMP officer is all clearly recorded on video) to kill Michael. Nicole testifies at trial that Michael is an abusive control freak, who punches holes in walls, once put a gun to her head, and who exercised a “reign of terror” over the household. In other words Nicole puts up the “battered wife” defence, which is supposed to be applied in situations where the woman fears imminently for her life, i.e. “extreme duress,” which was clearly not the case in Nicole’s premeditated actions at a time when the couple was separated.'


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