Legal Word of the Day: “O’Connor Application”

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O’Connor Application — Where evidence is not in the possession or control of the Crown, it may be the subject of a third-party records application — known as an “O’Connor application.” Such records could include diaries, journals, and medical, therapy, or counselling records.

Courts consider relevance, whether the information will assist the defence, and the Charter rights of a complainant, in deciding O’Connor applications. Subsequent legislation and case law control access to a complainant’s personal records, to protect their privacy and prevent “fishing expeditions.”

 

Related Information:

R. v. O’Connor, [1995] 4 S.C.R. 411

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) provides information about third-party disclosure.

Justice Rick Libman spoke to LSG College of Law about disclosure issues.

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