The Supreme Court of Canada says a former residential school student is entitled to compensation for abuse, in a decision that helps clarify the scope of appeals in such cases.
The decision comes in the case of an Indigenous man, known only as J.W. due to privacy considerations, who said he was sexually assaulted by a nun at a residential school in Manitoba.
J.W.’s claim was rejected by an adjudicator on the grounds that he had failed to show the nun’s alleged act — grabbing his penis while he was lightly clothed, waiting in line for a shower — had a sexual purpose.
His efforts to have the decision overturned by other adjudicators failed, but a Manitoba judge found fault with the internal decisions and sent the case back to the initial adjudication phase.
The federal government successfully challenged the judge’s ruling in the Manitoba Court of Appeal, which said that, under the terms of the assessment process, judges can’t carry out detailed reviews of adjudication decisions.
In its decision today, the Supreme Court says the courts can intervene if there is a failure to apply the terms of a 2006 settlement agreement that provided for the assessment process.
This story originally appeared on CBC