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CIVIL EVIDENCE - Documentary evidence - Publication bans and confidentiality orders

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 8:34 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Applications by two media organizations for disclosure of submissions and materials filed by the parties with respect to applications for costs in two appeals that had yet to be heard and determined. The media’s disclosure requests related to the Court’s finding, based on fresh evidence that was admitted in the appeals, that an expert, Reeves, had perpetrated a fraud upon the trial court in deliberately misrepresenting her qualifications for the purpose of giving expert opinion evidence on the central issue of whether the father had sexually abused his children. This evidence provided the foundation for the trial judge’s ultimate finding on that issue. A publication ban on the disclosure of the names of the children or the respondent parents was issued by the trial court. Both the family and civil proceedings were subject to a sealing order in their entirety.

HELD: Applications allowed, subject to the redactions required to protect the identities of the respondents and the children. The disclosure requests did not relate to a private, family law matter but to a much broader issue regarding the proper administration of justice. The effect of the Court’s fraud finding transcended what began as a private custody dispute into an issue of public interest concerning the integrity of the justice system and the proper administration of justice.

J.P. v. B.G., [2018] B.C.J. No. 530, British Columbia Court of Appeal, R.J. Bauman C.J.B.C., D.M. Smith and G.J. Fitch JJ.A., March 26, 2018. Digest No. TLD-April232018003