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Simon Shields, LLB

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Evidence - Judicial Notice

R. v. MacIsaac (Ont CA, 2015)

In this case the court commented usefully on the tension between the principle of judicial notice and when it can stray into impermissible speculation by a judge:
[46] It was open to the trial judge to draw inferences that reasonably and logically flowed from the facts established by the evidence. But it was an error of law to draw inferences that did not flow logically and reasonably from established facts, because doing so draws the trial judge into the impermissible realms of conjecture and speculation: R. v. Morrissey (1995), 1995 CanLII 3498 (ON CA), 22 O.R. (3d) 514 (C.A.), at pp. 530-531.

.....

A court can take judicial notice of a fact only if it is: (1) so notorious or generally accepted that no reasonable person would disagree; or (2) capable of immediate demonstration by reference to sources of indisputable accuracy (R. v. Find, 2001 SCC 32 (CanLII), [2001] 1 S.C.R. 863, at para. 48, citing R. v. Potts (1982), 1982 CanLII 1751 (ON CA), 66 C.C.C. (2d) 219 (Ont. C.A.)).

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