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Farris LLP: Vancouver's Law Firm

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24 August 2018

Scott Dawson successfully argues for media access to court documents in first-degree murder case

The Vancouver Sun and CHEK TV, represented by Farris partner Scott Dawson, obtained an order for access to documents filed with the BC Supreme Court in R. v. Darling, a first-degree murder matter. In June the Crown had directed a stay of proceedings, communicating to the public that its charge approval standard could no longer be met after unspecified further information was received by the prosecutors. Dawson’s clients sought access to documents which included serious allegations against a Deputy Regional Crown Counsel and the RCMP Staff Sergeant who supervised an undercover operation targeting the accused. Complete access to the documents was opposed by the RCMP and the two individual subjects of those allegations. Mr. Justice Thompson concluded that “public servants ought not to be shielded from scrutiny in a case such as this” and granted access to the documents. No finding was made on the merits of the allegations.

To read the judgment of Mr. Justice Thompson, click here.

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