March 01, 2019
Savard, Roy, Cotnam
Motion by the Crown for an order compelling the accused to provide a complete transcript of the trial record. Motion by the accused to adjudicate the costs engendered by the Crown’s motion. Dismissed.
In the days before his factum was filed, the appellant informed the Crown that it would not contain the complete transcript of testimony heard at trial, but only the transcript of the testimony concerning the content of the text messages, the interpretation of which was key to his appeal. The Crown believes that this approach is contrary to s. 682(2) of the Criminal Code (R.S.C. (1985), c. C-46) and the Rules of the Court of Appeal of Quebec in Criminal Matters (SI/2006-142 of 13-12-2006, (2006) 140 Gaz. Can. II, 1322).
The Crown cannot require the appellant to obtain, at his expense, a transcript of the entire trial. Just because an appellant can obtain the transcript of the proceedings does not mean that the appellant must obtain the complete transcript.
The rules should be interpreted based on the Court’s objective when they were adopted. The purpose of these rules, limited to issues on process, procedure and administration, is to ensure that the parties can complete the appeal and any related incidental proceedings correctly, fairly and in an effective and diligent manner. Moreover, they reflect the rules in civil matters, to the extent possible, and their interpretation should produce a similar result.
Section 30 of the rules should not be literally interpreted to compel the appellant to obtain a complete transcript, unless the parties jointly renounce this right or agree to a joint statement of the facts. Such an interpretation might deprive accused of their right to appeal if they are financially unable to bear the cost of transcribing evidence they do not believe is required to resolve their dispute. It could also force the State to incur useless costs if a legal aid mandate is involved. Therefore, the respondent may obtain, at its expense, the transcript of evidence that the appellant does not feel is required for his appeal.
If the Crown finds that the partial transcripts filed by the appellant are insufficient, it must decide whether to obtain a complete transcript, at its expense, as part of its quasi-judicial role when conducting criminal matters.
*Summary by SOQUIJ
Text of the decision: Http://citoyens.soquij.qc.ca
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