This course surveys selected issues involving sexual work, performances, expression and the criminal law. The main focus of the course is on the development of obscenity and indecency laws, prostitution-related laws, voyeurism laws, artistic expression, revenge pornography, cyber sexual crimes, bestiality laws, campus sexual regulation and hateful sexual speech. Study of these topic areas is based on a doctrinal, socio-legal and anthropological history of sexual regulation beginning in ancient Pompeii, law development in Victorian England, and leading to assessment of the related laws in modern day Canada. The course thus explores theories underpinning freedom of expression, equality and liberty. The course engages doctrinal issues in criminal law, constitutional law, tort law and to a certain extent, jurisprudence and the philosophies inherent in law and society approaches. Since the course considers sexual expression across histories, elements of comparative and international Indigenous sexual depictions and excavations are explored. The histories and effect of the development of related laws in Canada, and municipally in Winnipeg, are also analyzed with an emphasis on historic and modern-day oppressions against Indigenous, new Canadian and impoverished populations, including a discussion of MMIWG and legal regulation. LGBTQ2S* expression and activism is also explored as part of these analyses.
The course does not consider directly the law of sexual assault since the law of sexual assault is dealt with in other law school offerings, though the context of sexual violence is thematic throughout many units in the course.
This course contains strong sexual content, both in print and in film. The discussions, readings and visual representations may be disturbing to some students. In particular language with strong sexual content may be studied. The assigned documentary we will be showing (or viewing at home) has adult content and depicts graphic (though legal) displays of sexuality and nudity.