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Approximately 1400 pages
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Watt's Manual of Criminal Evidence 2018
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Watt's Manual of Criminal Evidence is the single, reliable resource you can turn to for the answers to evidentiary questions.

Authored and annotated by a renowned criminal law authority, Watt's Manual of Criminal Evidence synthesizes all the statute and common law evidence material into one easy-to-use handbook. Designed like an annotated statute, all the statutory rules of evidence are addressed, followed by case law annotations for the Canada Evidence Act and also for selected evidentiary sections of the Criminal Code, Youth Criminal Justice Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

New in this edition

Supreme Court of Canada Cases

  • R. v. Durham Regional Crime Stoppers Inc. (SCC) – Informer privilege does not apply where it would compromise the very objective of furthering the interests of justice and the maintenance of public order that justify its existence. The privilege does not exist where a person has contacted Crime Stoppers with the intention of furthering criminal activity or interfering with the administration of justice.
  • R. v. Paterson (SCC) – The confessions rule does not apply to statements tendered in the context of a Charter voir dire.
  • R. v. Alex (SCC) – S. 258 (1) (g) creates a statutory exception to the hearsay rule, which permits a certificate of analysis setting out the results of D’s breath test to be filed as proof of the truth of its contents without the need for viva voce evidence.
  • R. v. Bradshaw (SCC) – Procedural reliability can be based on safeguards in place at the time the statement was taken and on safeguards imposed at trial. Some form of cross-examination of the declarant is usually required.  Jury warnings about the dangers of hearsay evidence or unsavoury witnesses do not establish procedural reliability.

Court of Appeal Cases

  • R. v. Abbey (ONCA) – Expert opinion evidence is admissible when it meets the threshold requirements of admissibility and the trial judge, as gatekeeper, decides that the benefits of admitting the evidence outweigh its potential risks
  • R. v. Barton (ABCA) – After-the-fact conduct, such as destruction or concealing of evidence; erasing a link to the scene; and concoction and fabrication of lies may support an inference that D knew that he had committed a culpable act.  The evidence is also relevant to D’s credibility as a witness at trial.
  • R. v. Douglas (MBCA) – Where a warrant authorizes search for and seizure of “legal correspondence”, which is presumptively privileged, the proper remedy on warrant review is: i. to excise the term “legal correspondence” from the warrant; ii. to place the affected documents under seal; and iii. to require the applicant to identify the documents over which privilege is claimed so that the reviewing judge can determine which documents attract privilege
  • R. v. Laing (NSCA) – Prior consistent statements introduced as narrative cannot be used to corroborate the in-court testimony of their maker.
  • R. v. Bahamonde (BCCA) – When a witness uses two similar terms to describe the same physical attribute (the whites of the eyes), a judge may use a dictionary to determine the meaning of the terms used without offending the prohibition against independent research.
  • R. v. Dunford (SKCA) – Police have no obligation to respond to a detainee’s misunderstanding of his rights, or how to implement them, if that misunderstanding is not communicated to the police, or if there are no other signs of lack of comprehension.
  • R. c. Turbide (QCCA) – Once D, who is not charged with an offence listed in s. 278.2(1), has in his or her possession a document with respect to which V has a reasonable expectation of privacy, a judge cannot order that the document be returned. Further, D may cross-examine V on the contents of the document, provided the purpose of the cross-examination is legitimate.
  • R. v. H. (R.A.) (PECA) – A court may determine that a video statement made months or even years after an alleged offence was made “within a reasonable time after the alleged offence” by considering whether there is a satisfactory explanation for the delay of the and the impact of the delay on the child’s ability to accurately recall the events.

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About the Author
The Honourable Mr. Justice David Watt is a Judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He was a Judge for the Superior Court of Justice for 22 years and was Crown Counsel in Ontario for 13 years, including eight years as Senior Crown Counsel (Criminal Law), Ministry of the Attorney General. Mr. Justice Watt is a well-known lecturer and has taught criminal law, evidence and procedure to law students, practitioners and judges at several Canadian law schools and in Continuing Legal Education programs across Canada for over 30 years. He is the Honourary Chair of the National Criminal Law Program.