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Evidence - Rule in Browne v Dunn

R v Kirlew (Ont CA, 2017)

In this case the Court of Appeal states the essence of the 'rule in Browne v Dunn' briefly as follows:
[8] The rule in Browne v. Dunn requires that, in the interests of fairness, where a party intends to challenge the credibility of a witness, the party must provide the witness with an opportunity to address the point upon which the witness’ credibility is attacked.

[9] However, this is neither a fixed nor inflexible rule. As this court recently explained in R. v. Quansah, 2015 ONCA 237 (CanLII), 331 O.A.C. 304, at para. 80, the extent of the application of the rule “lies within the sound discretion of the trial judge and depends on the circumstances of each case” (citations omitted). Further, and importantly, compliance with the rule requires that “the cross-examination should confront the witness with matters of substance on which the party seeks to impeach the witness’ credibility and on which the witness has not had an opportunity of giving an explanation because there has been no suggestion whatever that the witness’ story is not accepted” (emphasis in original, citations omitted).

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