Trial judge may consider accused’s Indigeneity in criminal records admissibility determination: OCA

Decision dispels controversy about whether Gladue principles apply to trial process

By Julius Melnitzer | September 30, 2022

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that trial judges may consider an accused’s Indigeneity in determining whether their criminal records are admissible in cross-examination.

“This is an important and helpful legal precedent on an issue that has never been adjudicated and an important piece – albeit just one small piece – of the much larger puzzle involved in making the criminal justice system more aware and more responsible in achieving proper reconciliation,” says Jonathan Shime, a partner with Toronto criminal and regulatory boutique Cooper, Sandler, Shime & Bergman LLP and co-counsel for the accused Dale King in R. v. King.

The OCA’s decision also dispels the controversy as to whether the Gladue principles – the Supreme Court of Canada’s guidance on factors to be taken into account when sentencing Indigenous offenders – apply to the trial process and are not limited to sentencing.

Read more here . . .

Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or


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