Osgoode forum to examine expert evidence problems

Recent judicial inquiries and exonerations of wrongfully convicted individuals have exposed how the criminal justice system can fail when it comes to expert evidence.

A special Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development Forum titled “Expert Evidence in Criminal Proceedings”, taking place Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9am to 5pm at Osgoode’s downtown Toronto centre at 1 Dundas Street West, 26th floor, will bring together prosecutors, judges, defence lawyers and experts who routinely give evidence in criminal proceedings to discuss some of the key challenges surrounding expert evidence.

Click here for a complete list of speakers.

The luncheon speaker will be Fred Kaufman, a leading authority on wrongful convictions in Canada. A former judge of the Quebec Court of Appeal, Kaufman presided at the inquiry into Guy Paul Morin’s wrongful 1992 murder conviction and authored the Report of the Commission on Proceedings Involving Guy Paul Morin.

Kaufman also wrote a 700-page report on the Steven Truscott murder conviction, an edited version of which was released last month to the public. The report was submitted to federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler in April, 2004 and he, in turn, sent the case back to the Ontario Court of Appeal to review the evidence. A date has not yet been set for the Appeal Court to rehear the case concerning Truscott’s conviction for capital murder in the 1959 slaying of 12-year-old Lynne Harper.

“Expert Evidence in Criminal Proceedings” has the support of Justice Canada and was inspired by a report under its auspices called The Prevention of Miscarriages of Justice, which came out earlier this year.

For further information on the forum, e-mail Mary Park at mpark@osgoode.yorku.ca, or Virginia Corner at vcorner@osgoode.yorku.ca.