The Evolution of the Law of Evidence: Plus Ça Change…?

Robert J. Currie

Abstract


Originally prepared as a CLE backgrounder for criminal lawyers, this article provides a brief and occasionally critical account of developments in the law of evidence over the last three or so decades. Particular attention is paid to the Supreme Court of Canada’s introduction and development of the “principled approach.” It is argued that this framework has been most successful where it has coalesced into a more traditional-looking “rules-based” stance, albeit one based in principle, and less so where looser tests of principle have been given freer rein.

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