Friday, February 8, 2013

Hearsay rule applies only to statements

R. v. Li, 2013 ONCA 81 is a useful reminder that hearsay applies to statements and not observations. So a description of something seen in a photograph cannot be hearsay (although it may be excluded on other grounds):

[31] The hearsay rule has four essential elements:

i. a declarant;
ii. a recipient;
iii. a statement; and
iv. a purpose.

The defining characteristics of hearsay are the purpose for which the evidence is introduced – to prove the truth of the contents of the statement – and the absence of a contemporaneous opportunity to cross-examine the declarant to test the reliability of the out-of-court statement: R. v Khelawon, 2006 SCC 57, [2006] 2 S.C.R. 787, at para. 35.

 [36] I would not give effect to this ground of appeal. My reasons are several.

[37] First, the photograph viewed by D/C Henderson on the MOT database, considered apart from the contents of the licence and ownership of the plate/vehicle, was not rendered inadmissible by the hearsay rule. The photograph was not a “statement”, an essential feature of the exclusionary rule, nor was it tendered to prove the truth of its contents.

1 comment:

Dana said...

James, this has nothing to do with the post it's attached to.

I'm curious about the bail for Brazeau.

I read that it's $1000.00

That seems remarkably low to me.

Is it in line with similar cases of assault and sexual asault?