A.S. is a constitutional challenge to the legal framework governing what happens when an accused person has a sexual assault complainant’s private records in their possession, and wants to use those records at trial.
Under the framework, an accused person who has possession of a complainant’s private records (such as text messages, photographs, and medical records) cannot surprise the complainant with these records during a trial. Instead, the accused person must ask the judge to hold a separate hearing and decide whether or not to allow the records to be used in court. The judge will consider different factors in making the decision, including factors supporting the equality rights of complainants. Complainants have the right to participate in these hearings, and to have access to independent counsel to help them participate.
LEAF will argue that the framework is constitutional, as it enhances the equality rights of complainants while respecting the accused’s right to full answer and defence.
Take a look at the factsheet to learn more about private records in sexual assault trials, and why LEAF is involved in this case. A plain text version is also available.
If you’d like more information about this case, contact:
Project Director, LEAF