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HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNALS AND BOARDS OF INQUIRY - Evidence - Disclosure and production of documents

Thursday, June 08, 2017 @ 8:26 AM  


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Application by the Toronto Police Service and Police Service Board for disclosure of police records related to the complainant, TW. The complainant was a black youth diagnosed with communication autism. The complainant, through his mother, brought a human rights compliant alleging discrimination by police on the basis of race, colour, place of origin, ethnic origin and disability. The complaint arose from an interaction between the complainant and police in the course of a robbery investigation. Police records were created as a result of the interaction, which did not lead to charges. The complainant and his mother sought disclosure of the records for the purpose of prosecuting the human rights complaint. The police parties sought access to the records for the purpose of defending the claim. The application thus proceeded on consent, subject to the court's determination of jurisdiction under the Youth Criminal Justice Act to grant the relief sought.

HELD: Application allowed. Notwithstanding the detention of the complainant, there was no allegation he committed an offence, no offending behaviour, and no issue of accountability. The fact that no police action was taken following the detention meant there was no police extrajudicial measure triggering access to the records under s. 119 of the Act. A necessary inference arose that Parliament did not intend access to records to be entirely foreclosed if they fell outside the ambit of s. 119. Read together, ss. 122 and 124, by necessary implication, permitted the complainant to access and publish the information in the records as required for the purpose of his human rights complaint, subject to the court's obligation to ensure the information would not be made known to the community. Access was accordingly granted, subject to restrictions on use and maintenance.

Toronto (City) Police Service v. T.W., [2017] O.J. No. 2031, Ontario Court of Justice, M.L. Cohen J., April 19, 2017. TLD-June52017007