Cases & Decisions

R v JZS [child victim, child witness, testifying]

Court: Supreme Court of Canada, 2010

JFCY was granted intervener standing in a case in which an accused was challenging the provisions of the Criminal Code and the Canada Evidence Act that governs the manner in which children can testify in court.

JZS was convicted of sexually assaulting his son and daughter. At the time of the offences, the children were ages seven and ten respectively; at the time of trial they were eight and eleven. At trial, both children testified behind a screen on a promise to tell the truth. The central issue was whether the provisions providing different testimonial options for children rendered the appellant’s trial fundamentally unfair. The BC Court of Appeal found that the provisions did not disturb the traditional safeguards of trial fairness.

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for the reasons given by the British Columbia Court of Appeal.

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