New rules of evidence found unconstitutional in Ontario

DM

After multiple challenges, a Superior Court judge in Ontario has finally ruled that Parliament violated constitutional rights when they implemented new rules of evidence to increase convictions in sexual assault allegations. The “new rules” granted a complainant standing in evidentiary hearings prior to trial. This standing allowed the complainant to avoid “ambush” and the ability to block the accused from adducing evidence in his own defence. On November 23, 2020, Justice Akhtar of the Ontario Superior Court, ruled that sections 278.92, 278.94(2) and 278.94(3) were of no force or effect in Ontario. The decision will likely go to the Court of Appeal.

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