ACCESS TO THE PRIVATE THERAPEUTIC RECORDS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT COMPLAINANTS
AbstractThis article discusses the two-stage procedure developed by the Supreme Courtto govern production of the private therapeutic records of complainants in sexual assault trials. The majorityjudgement is criticized as being entirelyfocussed on therights ofthe accused, with noapparent appreciationofthe natureorimportance ofthe competing privacy and equality rights ofthe complainant. Whilepreferring the minority judgement, the author concludes that legal rules alone will matter little. The debate will always turn on conflicting background notions of what material is "relevant" for a full answer and defence. Bill C-46, introduced in response to the majority decision in O'Connor, is remarkablefar its exhaustive anddetailed limits to whatmaybe considered relevantfor this purpose. This may make the Bill more 'vulnerable to Charter challenge before the very court that decided O'Connor in thefirst place.
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