Disclosure of evidence

Region: Ontario Answer # 755

What is disclosure?

If you have been charged with an offence, it is important for you to know what evidence the Crown prosecutor has against you so that your lawyer can properly prepare your defence. The legal term for your right to know about this evidence is “disclosure.” Under the law, the Crown prosecutor must give you a copy of all the relevant evidence against you before the date of your trial. Relevant evidence means anything that you could use to defend yourself. Because the prosecutor often does not provide this information automatically, your lawyer will contact the Crown prosecutor’s office before your trial date to formally request disclosure.

Because the obligation to provide disclosure is ongoing, the Crown prosecutor must keep giving you new and relevant evidence as it becomes available. Any relevant new information must be disclosed to you as it is received by either the police or the Crown prosecutor. However, you do not normally need to provide the Crown with any information about your defence or your background.

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