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Landmark Case: Crown Duty to Disclose – R. v. Stinchcombe

Each OJEN Landmark Case includes a case summary, classroom discussion questions and worksheets that encourage students to explore both the legal and societal importance of the case.

In R v Stinchcombe, the Supreme Court of Canada, in a unanimous decision, held that the Crown is under a duty to disclose to the defence all evidence that could possibly be relevant to the case, regardless of whether the Crown plans to call that evidence at trial, or whether it helps or hurts the Crown’s case. The court ruled that the Crown duty to disclose derives from the right of an accused to make full answer and defence, which has been entrenched as a principle of fundamental justice under s. 7 of the Charter.

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