Mid-trial discussions in chambers a no-no ruling

Mar 20, 2015 By Matthew Friedberg

An Ontario Court of Appeal decision that points to the inappropriateness of mid-trial discussions in chambers is a good reminder that this practice should never take place because it "taints the legal process" and breaches an accused person’s right to a fair trial, says Toronto criminal lawyer Matthew Friedberg. 

"This decision is an excellent guidepost on how to conduct fair trials," he says.

In R. v. Poulos, 2015 ONCA 182 (CanLII), Justice Harry LaForme of the Court of Appeal says that despite the court’s earlier warnings that any discussion involving trial counsel and the judge in all criminal trials ought to take place in the presence of the accused in open court.

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