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Evidence - 'Colloquy' [judge-counsel exchange]

. Johnson v. Ontario

In Johnson v. Ontario (Ont CA, 2021) the Court of Appeal considered the relevance of 'colloquy' (verbal interchange) between a judge and counsel towards assessing the reasons for judgment:
[7] The motion judge gave detailed reasons for his decision refusing Mr. Parker’s request for an extension of time. Those reasons no doubt will be the focus of the panel’s attention. Absent a ground of appeal asserting procedural unfairness, what transpired during a hearing between the court and counsel usually plays little role on the determination of an appeal. As this court observed in R. v. Smith (2001), 2001 CanLII 20968 (ON CA), 154 O.A.C. 51, (C.A.), at para 45, leave to appeal refused, [2002] S.C.C.A. No. 156:
[I]t is generally neither appropriate nor possible to draw inferences concerning a trial judge's reasons for a ruling based on colloquy with counsel. Trial judges routinely probe submissions to test the viability of various avenues of decision. Particularly where comprehensive reasons are given there is no basis for going behind a trial judge's reasons.



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