|This page was last substantively updated or reviewed December 2022. (Rev. # 86604)|
The Criminal Code permits testimonial accommodation for certain witnesses who may have difficulty testifying under normal circumstances.
- Evidentiary Foundation
An application for testimonial accommodation does not always require sworn evidence from the witness to justify it. However, some authority suggests that there should be some form of affidavit or testimonial evidence. The court should be open to means of diminishing the trauma and stress on child witnesses.
- Toys and Comfort Items
There is no direct authority on the question of comfort items for child witnesses, but there are examples of such items being permitted.
- Prohibition on Cross-Examination of Persons Under 18
Interpreters for Disabled
Section 6 of the Canada Evidence Act addresses communication in testimony by persons with disabilities. The first subsection 6(1) concerns physical disabilities and subsection 6(2) concerns mental disabilities. Both provisions apply when there is 1) a person is a disability who (2) has difficulty communicating because of this disability.
This applies to situations where the witness is deaf or mute and cannot communicate orally.
The witnesses does not need to be "wholly unintelligible" to have s. 6 apply.
- No need for video evidence
Where an interpreter of sign language is used, there is no added requirement that a video record of the evidence be made.
- R v Boden, 2021 BCSC 79 (CanLII), per Davies J
R v George, 2020 BCSC 212 (CanLII), per MacKenzie J at para. 23
R v FM, 2021 BCSC 1867 (CanLII)(complete citation pending) at paras. 20–21
- R v L(DO), [1993 4 SCR 419], per L'Heureux‑Dubé J, at para 24
R v Rose, 2022 QCCQ 12837 (CanLII) (working hyperlinks pending), per Belanger J, at paras 224 to 227
R v Doncel, 2022 ONCJ 143 (CanLII), per Fraser J, at para 11
- Doncel, supra, at para 12
- R v Titchener, 2013 BCCA 64 (CanLII), 333 BCAC 234, per Ryan JA
- Support Person Assisted Testimony
- Witness Screen and Closed-Circuit Video Testimony
- Statutory Hearsay Exception for Victims, Children and Disabled
- Testimonial Aids for Witnesses at Risk of Harm