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Evidence - Refreshing Memory

. R. v. Kerr

In R. v. Kerr (Ont CA, 2022) the Court of Appeal commented on the use of contemporary notes to refresh recollection:
[22] In any event, the undercover officer could have testified to his conversation with the appellant, and refreshed his memory using contemporaneous notes, even if the recorded conversation was inadmissible. As Binnie J. states, at para. 45 of R. v. Fliss, 2002 SCC 16, [2002] 1 S.C.R. 535, in these circumstances, it is the officer’s “recollection, not the stimulus [that would rekindle his recollection] that becomes evidence.”
. R. v. Dupuis

In R. v. Dupuis (Ont CA, 2020) the Court of Appeal reviewed the procedure for refreshing memory with a witness' prior statement:
[46] Another situation in which a witness’s prior statement may be put before the witness is where counsel is refreshing memory. This is permitted only where the witness is having difficulty remembering. Whether counsel is permitted to refresh memory in this way is in the discretion of the trial judge, and there is a procedure that must be followed. Counsel must lay a foundation by ascertaining whether the witness is having difficulty remembering. Counsel should ask the witness if they wish to refer to a prior statement. If the witness confirms he or she needs assistance remembering and wishes to refer to the prior statement, counsel should seek leave from the court to refresh the memory of the witness. The statement is produced to opposing counsel, who may object to its use. If the court permits the refreshing of memory, counsel should provide the statement to the witness, and instruct the witness to consult the relevant portion in silence. Counsel can then resume questioning the witness: see Sidney N. Lederman, Alan W. Bryant & Michelle Fuerst, Sopinka, Lederman & Bryant: The Law of Evidence in Canada, 5th Edition (Toronto: LexisNexis Canada, 2018), at ss. 16.128-16.129; Peter J. Sankoff, The Law of Witnesses and Evidence in Canada (formerly Witnesses), (Toronto: Thomson Reuters Canada Limited, 2019), at c. 11.4. If the statement does not refresh the witness’s memory, “no use should be made of it unless the record is admissible under some other rule of evidence”: David M. Paciocco, Palma Paciocco & Lee Stuesser, The Law of Evidence, 8th ed. (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2020), at p. 546.


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