Case Report – Court lacks jurisdiction to grant access to materials not filed

On December 31st, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court held that it did not have jurisdiction to order access to records that were referenced in a joint sentencing submission but not entered as exhibits.

The CBC applied for an order against the RCMP, who possessed audio and video recordings made in the course of a high profile murder investigation. The CBC relied on section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and argued access was necessary to assess the joint sentencing submission. The Court held that, given the records had not been filed in Court, the proper forum for such a request was the Federal Court under the authority of the Access to Information Act.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2009 NSSC 400.

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