Technology Facilitated Violence: Criminal Case Law Lesson Plan Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 11 and 12

Duration: 1½ to 2 hours class time

About the Author: Robert Porter, Sarah Keeshan, and Jane Bailey

This lesson plan is a joint project of MediaSmarts and The eQuality Project, a project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & CREATE: A Digital Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.


This lesson plan explores the relationship between technology and the law by examining how the criminal law responds to technologically facilitated violence (TFV). Not only will it enhance students’ understanding of the legal meaning of key terms such as “violence”, it will also engage them in dialogue about the surrounding social and legal issues and the ways in which new and emerging technologies are affecting the relationship between the law and technology. Through the exploration of Canadian case studies, and subsequent discussion, students will develop their knowledge on legal implications of various forms of TFV such as harassing communications, criminal harassment, unauthorized use of computer systems, non-consensual disclosure of intimate images (sometimes referred to as “revenge porn”), and hate propaganda. Students will use materials from The eQuality Project’s “Technology-Facilitated Violence: Criminal Case Law” database to research recent Canadian case law involving TFV, better understand the concept of “violence” and the wide range of acts that fall within TFV, as well as the available criminal legal resources and potential outcomes for those affected.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Become familiar with legal definitions of “violence” that extend beyond physical aggression;
  • Develop a new understanding of the range of acts that can be categorized as TFV;
  • Identify overall patterns, characteristics and/or contexts of TFV behaviours; and
  • Research some of the relevant legal responses relating to various forms of TFV including: relevant provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada and case law relating to those provisions.

Download the Technology-facilitated Violence: Criminal Case Law slideshow.

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) are available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.