Competency, Compellability and Coroner's Courts


  • William Henkel



The application and effect of the sections of the Canada Evidence Act and the provincial Evidence Acts which negative the common law rule against self-incrimination have always created troublesome issues not readily resolved. A recent series of cases concerning the position of a person called to give evidence before a coroner's inquiry as a result of which inquiry he may be charged with an offence, has revived interest in this area of the law. This interest has been particularly evident in Alberta, where the issue cannot at this time be said to be settled. The writer, a senior member of the Alberta Attorney-General's Department, deals with the specific issue of coroner's inquests against the back-ground of a broad discussion of the principles of competency and compellability of witnesses.





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