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“Criminalization Creep”: A Brief Discussion of the Criminalization of HIV/AIDS Non-disclosure in Canada

  • Erin Dej (a1) and Jennifer M. Kilty (a2)

This research note begins by situating some of the major areas of inquiry within social-science research on the criminalization of HIV/AIDS non-disclosure. The evolution of the use of this criminal justice measure in the attempt to regulate HIV/AIDS transmission illustrates what has been termed “criminalization creep,” whereby steadily increasing numbers of people are charged with increasingly severe crimes. We outline some of the key and precedent-setting cases in Canadian law in order to explore the problematic of criminalization and suggest avenues for future research on this subject.


Ce bref essai commence par situer certains des plus importants domaines d'enquête au sein de la recherche en sciences sociales sur la criminalisation de la non-divulgation de la séropositivité à l'égard du VIH/sida. L'évolution du recours à cette mesure de justice pénale afin d'essayer de réglementer la transmission du VIH/sida illustre ce qu'Elliott a appelé criminalization creep (le glissement de la criminalisation), alors que l'on constate une augmentation constante du nombre de personnes accusées de crimes de plus en plus graves. Nous décrivons brièvement certains cas importants qui ont créé des précédents dans le droit canadien, afin d'explorer la problématique de la criminalisation et de suggérer des possibilités pour les futures recherches à ce sujet.

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Canadian Journal of Law and Society / La Revue Canadienne Droit et Société
  • ISSN: 0829-3201
  • EISSN: 1911-0227
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-law-and-society-la-revue-canadienne-droit-et-societe
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