The Rest of the Story of R. v. Stinchcombe: A Case Study in Disclosure Issues
AbstractStinchcombe is a decision which is oft-quoted but not well understood or properly interpreted by the courts. This article reviews the facts of the Stinchcombe litigation and suggests that the Courts have failed to properly apply the principles enunciated therein. In the initial Supreme Court decision Sopinka J. suggested the adoption of the civil model of pretrial disclosure in the criminal context: the Crown, he suggested, should err on the side of inclusion and consider it a constitutional duty to disclose everything that could be relevant to the case. The courts have failed to properly apply this decision, as evidenced by the judicial interpretation of "relevance," the expectation that defence counsel will police prosecutors' compliance with the disclosure obligation, and the failure of the courts to apply appropriate remedies or sanctions where disclosure obligations have not been properly met. The author suggests that practitioners should reconsider the principles of Stinchcombe, especially in light of proposed changes to the Alberta Rules of Court which might make disclosure requirements in the civil process less stringent.
For Editions following and including Volume 61 No. 1, the following applies.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
For Editions prior to Volume 61 No. 1, the following applies.
Author(s) retain original copyright in the substantive content of the titled work, subject to the following rights that are granted indefinitely:
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to produce, publish, disseminate, and distribute the titled work in electronic format to online database services, including, but not limited to: LexisNexis, QuickLaw, HeinOnline, and EBSCO;
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to post the titled work on the Alberta Law Review website and/or related websites.
- Author(s) agree that the titled work may be used for educational or instructional purposes and/or in educational or instructional materials. The author(s) acknowledge that the titled work is subject to other such "fair dealing" provisions and applicable legislation.
- Author(s) grant a limited license to those accessing the titled work from an electronic database or an Alberta Law Review website to download the titled work onto their computer and to print a copy for their own personal, non-commercial use, subject to proper attribution.
To use the journal's content elsewhere, permission must be obtained from the author(s) and the Alberta Law Review.