Criminal matters involve a public interest. They are considered as wrongs against society as a whole, not simply private matters between two individuals, even though individuals themselves may be harmed.
A criminal case is referenced as “R” versus the defendant. The “R” stands for Regina or Rex, the Latin terms for Queen or King. This symbolizes that it is the state or government that is bringing the charges against an individual defendant on behalf of the people.
Criminal cases are brought in the name of the Queen as the proceedings represent the interest of the State. The lawyer representing the Queen – called the Crown Counsel or Prosecutor – acts on behalf of all members of the public rather than the individual victim.
Criminal offences are set out in federal statutes, such as the Criminal Code of Canada. Unlike provincial offences, criminal offences are the same across the country. All crimes must be set out in a written law so that people can be certain about what behaviour is against the law and the penalties that may apply. Not knowing that something is a crime is not an excuse under the law. Everyone is expected to know what is against the law.
In this section, crimes most often associated with workplace sexual harassment are highlighted.
Knowing the remedies that may be available to you under the criminal law can assist you in deciding whether to involve the police.
In some cases, matters involving sexual harassment may also involve crimes such as sexual assault or intimidation. You may want to report the matter to the police.
The section is an overview of some crimes associated with workplace sexual harassment only. If you are considering reporting workplace sexual harassment to the police you may want to speak to a lawyer first. You can also report to the police without speaking to a lawyer first. It is your choice and may depend on what has happened. If you have experienced workplace sexual harassment in Saskatchewan you are entitled to up to 4 hours of free legal advice. Learn More
This site provides general information about workplace sexual harassment only. It is not a substitute for receiving legal advice about your situation. Apply now to receive 4 hours of free legal advice.
The Shift Project is funded by the Department of Justice and delivered by the Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA).