Out of court statements made by an accused, when properly admitted, can be valuable pieces of evidence in reaching a proper verdict. Different rules govern the admissibility of such statements, depending on who is seeking to introduce the statement, the purpose of its introduction, and the circumstances surrounding the statement. This paper discusses the admissibility of an accused’s out of court statements in a criminal trial, including a review of the leading cases on the subject. Topics addressed include: exculpatory statements, inculpatory statements made to a civilian, the common law confessions rule, charter-based exclusionary rules, compelled statements, questioning of a young person, and editing the statement.
This paper is part of a collection presented at LESA’s Criminal Law 25 program held in Calgary on June 3, 2016 and in Edmonton on June 10, 2016.