R v Lopez

Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date



Jury, Selection of Jury, Empanelling Jury, Challenge for Cause


The challenge for cause application in this case is an unusual one. The actual basis for it is a reflection of the changes in society in the past decade: the greater general acceptance of transgender people and therefore the greater openness about it, but in addition, the accompanying lack of acceptance from some quarters. It is unlikely that this is the last case we will see looking at this issue, especially as Justice Shelley's reasoning is based not on the absence of bias, but on the absence of evidence showing that such bias would have an impact on the trial process. That is, in essence, an invitation to others to find or produce such evidence, and it can be expected that someone will take up the challenge. It also illustrates the disadvantages that are often faced by pioneers in legal applications: there can be a widespread sense that something is wrong before it is possible to prove exactly what it is.


A case comment on R v Lopez, 2021 ABQB 247.