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Media opportunity: Dalhousie legal scholar wins Killam Fellowship for ground‑breaking research into the handling of sexual assault claims

Posted by Communications and Marketing on March 19, 2024 in News

Dalhousie University legal scholar, Dr. Elaine Craig, was announced today as one of eight Canadian researchers to receive the Dorothy Killam Fellowship, one of the most esteemed academic awards in the country. Dr. Craig will join the ranks of just nine Dalhousie researchers to have received the award since 1969 and is the first from the university’s Faculty of Law.

The fellowship, which provides $160,000 over two years, will support Dr. Craig’s research project aimed at understanding why so many sexual assault cases fail to progress to trial, how we can improve the investigation and prosecution of these offences, and why reforms to this area of law have failed to achieve many of their objectives.

To pursue her work, Dr. Craig will study hundreds of closed sexual offence files produced in Nova Scotia over a three-year period ending in 2022. The cases include both complaints that did and did not go to trial. Pursued in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service, Dr. Craig is the first legal scholar in Canada to conduct a study that relies on closed files to gain this kind of empirical knowledge.  

The period of focus of her study – 2019 to 2022 – is particularly important because it follows a set of substantial changes to sexual assault law to reduce the negative impact on complainants during sexual assault proceedings. 

Dr. Craig expects the research will yield insights that can help improve the investigative, prosecutive and adjudicative stages of the sexual offence legal process in Canada.   

Learn more via Dal News:


Media contact:

Andrew Riley
Senior manager, research and innovation communications
Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation


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