On February 12, 2020, a coalition including HALCO intervened in “R. v. N.G.” at the Court of Appeal for Ontario. The case involved a young man living with HIV appealing convictions for aggravated sexual assault for not disclosing his HIV-positive status before sexual intercourse, despite the fact that a condom was used. There was no allegation that HIV was transmitted and no evidence of incorrect condom use.
The coalition argued that correct condom use should be sufficient to prevent criminal prosecution. Regrettably, the Court of Appeal for Ontario disagreed and upheld N.G.’s conviction in a decision released on August 5, 2020.
In June 2019, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights recognized the need for Criminal Code reforms that would end the use of sexual assault charges to deal with HIV non-disclosure and limit any criminalization to cases of actual transmission. The ruling from the Court of Appeal for Ontario means that it is all the more urgent that the government act on these calls for change and put an end, through legislative amendments, to the unscientific and unjust use of the criminal law.
The coalition includes:
- Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network (Legal Network)
- Coalition des Organismes Communautaires Québécois de Lutte Contre le Sida (COCQ-SIDA)
- HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO)