In the landmark Lavallee decision of 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that evidence of battered woman syndrome was admissible in establishing self-defence for women accused of killing their abusive partners. This book looks at the trials of eleven battered women, ten of whom killed their partners, in the fifteen years since Lavallee. Drawing extensively on trial transcripts and a rich expanse of interdisciplinary sources, the author looks at the evidence produced at trial and at how self-defence was argued. By illuminating these cases, this book uncovers the practical and legal dilemmas faced by battered women on trial for murder.
Elizabeth A. Sheehy is Shirley Greenberg Professor of Women and the Legal Profession in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. She is a leading scholar on the legal system's treatment of battered women in Canada. In 2013 she was awarded the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Law by the Canadian Bar Association, an annual award that recognizes outstanding contributions to law in Canada.