section 657.3(5)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section allows the court to adjourn proceedings, order more particulars, or recall witnesses if a party is unable to prepare for an expert witnesss testimony.

SECTION WORDING

657.3(5) If, in the opinion of the court, a party who has received the notice and material referred to in subsection (3) has not been able to prepare for the evidence of the proposed witness, the court may do one or more of the following: (a) adjourn the proceedings; (b) order that further particulars be given of the evidence of the proposed witness; and (c) order the calling or recalling of any witness for the purpose of giving testimony on matters related to those raised in the expert witnesss testimony.

EXPLANATION

Section 657.3(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that safeguards the rights of parties in criminal proceedings when dealing with expert testimony. As per this section, if a party has received notice and material regarding an expert witness's testimony but has not been able to adequately prepare for it, the court may take certain steps to address this issue. One of the options available to the court is to adjourn the proceedings, allowing the party more time to prepare for the expert witness's evidence. Alternatively, the court may order that further particulars be given about the proposed witness's testimony to allow the party to better understand the evidence in question. Finally, the court may also order the calling or recalling of any witnesses for the purpose of providing testimony on matters related to the expert witness's evidence. The purpose of this section is to ensure that parties are treated fairly in criminal proceedings and are not unduly prejudiced by the presentation of expert testimony. Expert witnesses often play a critical role in criminal proceedings by providing specialized knowledge and insights that can help the court understand complex issues. However, this can also create challenges for parties who may have limited expertise in the relevant subject matter. By allowing for these options to be available to the court, parties are better able to defend themselves in criminal proceedings, and the integrity of the justice system is preserved. As such, section 657.3(5) is an important aspect of the Criminal Code of Canada that helps to ensure that justice is served fairly and equitably.

COMMENTARY

Section 657.3(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides judicial guidance for how a court should proceed when one party in a criminal proceeding receives notice and material relating to the testimony of an expert witness. Under the Criminal Code, parties involved in a trial have a right to full disclosure of the evidence that will be presented against them, including any expert testimony. However, in some cases, the notice and material provided may be incomplete or insufficient for a party to adequately prepare to defend themselves against the evidence presented by an expert witness. The purpose of Section 657.3(5) is to ensure that both parties in a criminal proceeding have a fair opportunity to present their case and to challenge the evidence presented by the other party. The provision recognizes that expert testimony can be particularly influential in the outcome of a case, and that parties must be given sufficient notice and information in order to meaningfully respond to it. When a party receives notice and material relating to an expert witness's testimony, they have a right to review it and prepare a response. If, in the opinion of the court, the party has not been able to adequately prepare due to incomplete or insufficient information, the court may take one or more of several actions outlined in subsection (5) of Section 657.3. First, the court may adjourn the proceedings to allow the party time to prepare a response to the expert witness's evidence. This option recognizes that parties may need additional time to review and analyze complex evidence, especially in cases involving highly technical or scientific information. Second, the court may order that further particulars be given about the evidence of the proposed witness. This means that the party presenting the expert witness must provide additional information to the other party in order to help them better understand the testimony being presented. This option can be helpful when the evidence presented is particularly technical or complex, and can help ensure that both parties have access to the same information. Finally, the court may order the calling or recalling of any witness for the purpose of giving testimony on matters related to those raised in the expert witness's testimony. This option recognizes that expert testimony is not the only evidence that may be relevant to the case, and that other witnesses may have important information to add. Overall, Section 657.3(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that helps ensure that both parties in a criminal proceeding have a fair opportunity to present their case. By providing guidelines for when a court may take certain actions to address inadequate notice or preparation for expert testimony, the provision helps prevent unfair surprises and ensures that parties have equal access to the evidence presented.

STRATEGY

Section 657.3(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada protects the rights of parties in litigation, particularly when it comes to being adequately prepared for the evidence of an expert witness. As noted in the section, if a party feels they have not had sufficient time or information to prepare for the evidence of an expert witness, the court can take various actions to address the issue. When dealing with this section of the Criminal Code, there are several strategic considerations that parties may want to keep in mind. These considerations include: 1. Preparation is key: To avoid being caught off guard by the evidence of an expert witness, parties must be prepared. This involves reviewing all relevant materials, including those related to the proposed witness, and conducting thorough research. By being fully prepared, parties can reduce the likelihood of being caught off guard by expert testimony and can effectively challenge it if needed. 2. Prompt action may be necessary: If a party feels that they have not had sufficient time to prepare for the evidence of an expert witness, they must act quickly. This may involve requesting an adjournment, seeking further particulars, or calling or recalling other witnesses. Taking prompt action can help ensure that parties are not unfairly prejudiced by expert testimony. 3. Collaboration may be useful: Depending on the nature of the case, it may be useful for parties to work together to prepare for the evidence of expert witnesses. This may involve pooling resources, sharing information, or even jointly seeking further particulars. Collaborating in this way can help ensure that all parties are adequately prepared for expert testimony and can reduce the risk of surprises in court. 4. Flexibility may be required: In some cases, parties may need to be flexible in their approach to expert testimony. This may mean being open to adjournments, seeking further particulars, or agreeing to the calling or recalling of other witnesses. While these actions may delay proceedings, they can help ensure that all parties have a fair and adequate opportunity to challenge the evidence of expert witnesses. 5. Expert witnesses may require careful scrutiny: Finally, it is important to remember that expert witnesses themselves may require careful scrutiny. This may involve questioning their qualifications, their methodology, or their conclusions. By effectively challenging the evidence of expert witnesses, parties can help ensure that the court receives a complete and accurate picture of the issues at hand. When it comes to strategies that could be employed under section 657.3(5), parties have a number of options. These include: 1. Requesting an adjournment: If a party feels they need more time to prepare for expert testimony, they may request an adjournment. This can give them additional time to review materials, conduct research, and otherwise prepare for the evidence. 2. Seeking further particulars: If a party feels that they have not received sufficient information about the evidence of an expert witness, they may seek further particulars. This can help them better understand the basis for the expert's opinions and prepare effective challenges. 3. Calling or recalling witnesses: If a party feels that it would be beneficial to call or recall other witnesses to address issues raised in the expert testimony, they may do so. This can help provide additional context and challenge the evidence of the expert witness. 4. Objecting to evidence: If a party feels that the evidence of an expert witness is inadmissible or unreliable, they may object to it. This can involve challenging the witness's qualifications, methodology, or conclusions. 5. Offering rebuttal evidence: Finally, parties may offer rebuttal evidence to challenge the evidence of an expert witness. This may involve calling other experts to provide alternative opinions or presenting evidence that contradicts the expert's conclusions. In summary, section 657.3(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides important protections for parties in litigation. By being fully prepared, acting promptly, collaborating where appropriate, being flexible, and effectively challenging expert testimony, parties can navigate this section of the code successfully.