Two new Crown attorneys have been appointed by the Public Prosecution Service to focus on sexual assault prosecutions.
Constance MacIsaac and Danielle Fostey will focus on sexual assault prosecutions and provide specialized training to other Crown attorneys. They will also develop resources for Crown attorneys in this area of law, such as legal briefs and legal research as well as measures for monitoring Crown attorney performance in the prosecution of sexual violence cases.
“The addition of these two specialized Crown attorneys will increase the overall effectiveness of sexual assault prosecutions across the province,” said Denise Smith, deputy director of public prosecutions. “Their past work has had a specific focus in this area and their commitment to ensuring the best possible sexual violence prosecutions is particularly noteworthy.”
The two Crown attorneys will conduct sexual violence cases themselves or with other Crown attorneys and provide legal and strategic advice for other Crown attorneys who are preparing and presenting sexual assault cases. They will also work with many legal, law enforcement and advocacy stakeholder groups.
This model of addressing sexual assault prosecutions will complement Nova Scotia’s sexual violence strategy launched in 2015 and viewable at https://novascotia.ca/coms/svs/.
“We are very happy to be able to introduce this enhanced prosecution model and provide dedicated legal supports to our team of very skilled and experienced Crown attorneys,” said Ms. Smith.
A native of Port Hawkesbury, Ms. MacIsaac graduated in 1998 from the University of New Brunswick with a bachelor of arts in sociology and in 2007 from Dalhousie University with an honours bachelor of arts in gender and women’s studies. In 2010 Ms. MacIsaac graduated from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie.
She articled with Evans MacIsaac MacMillan in Port Hawkesbury and joined the Dartmouth office of Nova Scotia Legal Aid in 2011 practicing both criminal and civil law with a focus on mental health law including issues of fitness, criminal responsibility, capacity and competency.
Ms. MacIsaac has professional experience working with gender-based violence. She has training and experience working with violent and sexual offending risk assessment tools, mental health first aid training, as well as crisis intervention training. She is a member of the Legal Education Action Fund and was co-chair of Dalhousie’s Association of Women and the Law. She has worked with the Nova Scotia Transition House Association and the Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver where she worked directly with women who have experienced sexual violence.
She has also worked collaboratively with police and advocacy groups who support women through the court process following sexual violence.
Danielle Fostey, from St. Paul, Alberta, graduated in 2010 with a bachelor of arts from the University of Alberta and in 2013 from Queen’s University Law School. Active in her Métis community, she was the president of the Aboriginal Law Students Association while at Queen’s.
She was a judicial law clerk with the British Columbia Supreme Court before articling in Vancouver. In 2015 Ms. Fostey was appointed a Crown prosecutor in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
She was the lead Crown attorney on domestic violence and worked with the Domestic Violence Assessment Team to support victims of domestic violence in the community and courtroom. Most cases she prosecuted were matters involving sexual violence and vulnerable victims with such issues as gang sexual assault, responding to constitutional challenges of mandatory minimums for sexual interference, applications for the use of the complainant’s prior sexual activity and use of testimonial aids for witnesses to testify.
Ms. Fostey has undergone specific training focused on a trauma-informed approach, use of toxicology and medical reports, prosecuting sexual violence crimes against children and evidentiary issues specific to sexual violence. She is passionate about equality rights and has focused her criminal law practice on making the justice system accessible to those who have been victimized.