Desperate Measures: Rationalizing the Crime of Infanticide

Research output: Article


This article addresses two recent cases dealing with the crime of infanticide both of which are going to provincial courts of appeal. Specifically, the comment examines the relationship between infanticide and murder and argues that the intent of the infanticide provisions in section 233 of the Criminal Code was to provide a mitigating regime for killings that would otherwise be murder. The article examines the recent trend towards charging women who kill their newly born children with murder, rather than infanticide, and the resulting judicial development of a defence of infanticide. While the article raises concerns about treating infanticide as a defence, it may be a necessary response to the tendency towards overcharging. Further, it is argued that infanticide must be interpreted in a way that acknowledges the unique role of women in pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing in our society and the reality faced by young women who may be young, poor, socially isolated, or mentally ill and find themselves in desperate circumstances. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-271
Number of pages19
JournalCanadian Criminal Law Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright - Copyright Carswell Publishing Aug 2010

Document feature - References

Last updated - 2023-11-21

SubjectsTermNotLitGenreText - Canada

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