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In R v King, a decision released on September 26, the Ontario Court of Appeal found that the Gladue principles applied to Corbett applications brought by Indigenous accused persons.
When an accused person testifies at their trial the Crown can introduce evidence of their prior convictions to challenge their credibility. The prior convictions are not supposed to be used to assist the jury in determining whether the person committed the crime. A Corbett application is brought by the lawyer for the accused and it seeks to restrict the questioning by the crown about prior convictions by having the judge determine that some or all of the prior convictions cannot be raised before the jury.
ALS intervened in the case and argued that in determining whether or not to allow prior convictions for an Indigenous accused person to be the subject of cross-examination by the crown, the judge had to look at Gladue considerations. This is the first time a court of appeal has reached this conclusion. This case is a significant step in expanding the reach of the Gladue principles to apply to the trial process.
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