DISCOVERY IN CRIMINAL CASES
Keywords:Criminal Law, Discovery, Evidence
AbstractTo illustrate that Canadian law, in comparison to other jurisdictions, allows an accused very limited discovery of information relevant to the conduct of his/her case, this article considers four relevant areas: the aim of the criminal process, the nature of the adversary system of trial, plea bargaining and the ethical responsibilities of the Crown prosecutor. It argues that decisions on discovery are usually made without reference to these four areas, and therefore run counter to the fundamental principles of justice. It canvasses the kinds of information the defence would like to have access to, examines the practical implications of limited discovery, reviews the arguments for and against increased discovery and canvasses reforms occurring in other jurisdictions. The author concludes that increased discovery is desirable to ensure that justice is carried out.
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