R. v. Zhang (K.T.F.), 2002 ABPC 62

JudgeLefever, P.C.J.
CourtProvincial Court of Alberta (Canada)
Case DateMarch 08, 2002
Citations2002 ABPC 62;(2002), 310 A.R. 67 (PC);2002 ABPC 35

R. v. Zhang (K.T.F.) (2002), 310 A.R. 67 (PC)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2002] A.R. TBEd. AP.019

Her Majesty the Queen v. Ken Tai Fa Zhang

(81845786P1; 2002 ABPC 35; 2002 ABPC 62)

Indexed As: R. v. Zhang (K.T.F.)

Alberta Provincial Court

Lefever, P.C.J.

March 8, 2002 and April 16, 2002.

Summary:

The accused was charged with offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. He applied for disclosure of certain documents related to a confidential informant.

The Alberta Provincial Court determined what documents had to be disclosed. The court subsequently issued an addendum (see paragraphs 93 to 113).

Criminal Law - Topic 128

General principles - Rights of accused - Right to make full answer and defence - The accused was charged with offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act - He applied for disclosure of certain documents related to a confidential informant, claiming that he required the documents to make full answer and defence - After reviewing the documents, the Alberta Provincial Court stated that almost all of the information which would not otherwise be subject to a privilege claim was already known to the accused - The court stated that "Not having the information that is found within the Crown records in the precise form it is contained within the Crown records will not, in my opinion, impair [the accused's] right to make full answer and defence." - See paragraph 67.

Criminal Law - Topic 129

General principles - Rights of accused - Right to discovery or production - [See Criminal Law - Topic 128 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 4473

Procedure - Pretrial hearings - Jurisdiction - Disclosure - The Alberta Provincial Court opined that because a claim of public interest privilege was an evidentiary privilege rooted in the common law, the appropriate place to raise it was at trial, and not in a pre-trial application for disclosure - See paragraph 59.

Criminal Law - Topic 4505

Procedure - Trial - Special duties of Crown - Duty to disclose evidence prior to trial - A police officer had discussions with a lawyer from the Federal Department of Justice about a particular confidential informant - The officer sent an internal memo to members of the department respecting the discussions - The lawyer subsequently sent a letter to the officer concerning the department's continued use of the informant - The informant also wrote a letter to the lawyer in response to the memo - The accused, who was charged with drug offences, sought disclosure of the memo and the letters - The Alberta Provincial Court held that the memo and the lawyer's letter were subject to solicitor-client privilege - There were no grounds for disclosing the memo or the lawyer's letter to the accused - The informant's letter was not subject to solicitor-client privilege or public interest privilege and had to be disclosed - Although it disclosed the informant's identity, that was already known - See paragraphs 85 to 92.

Criminal Law - Topic 4505

Procedure - Trial - Special duties of Crown - Duty to disclose evidence prior to trial - [See Criminal Law - Topic 128 ].

Evidence - Topic 4107.1

Witnesses - Privilege - Public interest privilege - The Alberta Provincial Court set out the following propositions with respect to public interest privilege: "a. At common law there exists a public interest privilege which may be asserted by the Crown at a preliminary inquiry to resist disclosure to the accused of certain information; b. This common law public interest privilege has not been subsumed within s. 37 of the [Canada Evidence Act (CEA)], and exists independent of and separate from the provision of s. 37 of the CEA; and c. If asserted and a ruling made that the disclosure must occur, the preliminary inquiry judge should adjourn the preliminary inquiry to allow the Crown to pursue an application under s. 37 of the CEA." - The court held that a Provincial Court judge could rule upon a claim of public interest privilege at a trial - If disclosure was ordered at trial, the trial should be adjourned to allow the Crown to pursue proceedings under s. 37 - See paragraphs 56 and 58.

Evidence - Topic 4107.1

Witnesses - Privilege - Public interest privilege - [See Criminal Law - Topic 4473 ].

Evidence - Topic 4150

Witnesses - Privilege - Privileged topics - Identity or location of police informants - [See first Criminal Law - Topic 4505 ].

Evidence - Topic 4236

Witnesses - Privilege - Lawyer-client communications - When privilege may be invoked - The Alberta Provincial Court stated that "it is imperative that police authorities can seek, receive, and disseminate legal advice without the fear that a minimal threshold from non-disclosure exists. Legal advice is key to any police officer to enable that officer to act within the law. It is key to senior officers to insure that subordinates are knowledgeable about the law and act within it. Imposing a minimal threshold against which to measure disclosure would in my view significantly impair the ability of lawyers to give legal advice, and in so impairing that ability, would carry with that minimal threshold the serious risk of adversely affecting the integrity of the trial process." - See paragraph 70.

Evidence - Topic 4236

Witnesses - Privilege - Lawyer-client communications - When privilege may be invoked - [See first Criminal Law - Topic 4505 ].

Evidence - Topic 4242.1

Witnesses - Privilege - Lawyer-client communications - Privilege - Communications between Crown prosecutors and investigators - [See first Criminal Law - Topic 4505 and first Evidence - Topic 4236 ].

Cases Noticed:

R. v. O'Connor (H.P.), [1995] 4 S.C.R. 411; 191 N.R. 1; 68 B.C.A.C. 1; 112 W.A.C. 1; 103 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 44 C.R.(4th) 1, folld. [para. 4].

R. v. Song (D.) (2001), 296 A.R. 132 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 6].

R. v. Stinchcombe, [1991] 3 S.C.R. 326; 130 N.R. 277; 120 A.R. 161; 8 W.A.C. 161; 68 C.C.C.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 20].

R. v. Greganti (S.), [2000] O.T.C. 30; 142 C.C.C.(3d) 31 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 22].

R. v. Gagné et al. (1998), 131 C.C.C.(3d) 444 (Que. C.A.), refd to. [para. 22].

R. v. L.A.T. (1993), 64 O.A.C. 380; 84 C.C.C.(3d) 90 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 23].

R. v. Scaduto (S.) (1999), 97 O.T.C. 307 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 23].

R. v. Seaboyer and Gayme, [1991] 2 S.C.R. 577; 128 N.R. 81; 48 O.A.C. 81; 66 C.C.C.(3d) 321, refd to. [para. 24].

R. v. Agat Laboratories Ltd. (1997), 203 A.R. 255 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 26].

R. v. Ford (R.L.) (1993), 23 B.C.A.C. 50; 39 W.A.C. 50; 78 C.C.C.(3d) 481 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 26].

R. v. Campbell (J.) and Shirose (S.), [1999] 1 S.C.R. 565; 237 N.R. 86; 119 O.A.C. 201; 133 C.C.C.(3d) 257; 24 C.R.(5th) 365, refd to. [para. 27].

R. v. Egger (J.H.), [1993] 2 S.C.R. 451; 153 N.R. 272; 141 A.R. 81; 46 W.A.C. 81; 82 C.C.C.(3d) 193, refd to. [para. 35].

R. v. Brown (L.A.) et al., [1997] O.T.C. 1 (Gen. Div.), refd to. [para. 36].

R. v. McClure (D.E.), [2001] 1 S.C.R. 445; 266 N.R. 275; 142 O.A.C. 201, folld. [para. 38].

R. v. Scott, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 979; 116 N.R. 361; 43 O.A.C. 277; 61 C.C.C.(3d) 300, refd to. [para. 42].

R. v. Archer (1989), 94 A.R. 323; 47 C.C.C.(3d) 567 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 42].

Humphrey v. Archibald (1893), 20 O.A.R. 267 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 43].

R. v. Ferrero (1981), 29 A.R. 469; 59 C.C.C.(2d) 93 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 46].

R. v. Davies (1982), 1 C.C.C.(3d) 299 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 46].

R. v. Hiscock; R. v. Sauvé (1992), 46 Q.A.C. 263; 72 C.C.C.(3d) 303 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 47].

Bisaillon v. Keable et al., [1983] 2 S.C.R. 60; 51 N.R. 81; 7 C.C.C.(3d) 385, refd to. [para. 48].

R. v. Hunter (1987), 19 O.A.C. 131; 34 C.C.C.(3d) 14 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 49].

R. v. Khela (S.S.) and Dhillon (K.S.), [1995] 4 S.C.R. 201; 188 N.R. 355; 102 C.C.C.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 49].

R. v. Barzal (M.D.) et al. (1993), 33 B.C.A.C. 161; 54 W.A.C. 161; 84 C.C.C.(3d) 289 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 50].

R. v. Richards (M.) (1997), 100 O.A.C. 215; 115 C.C.C.(3d) 377 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 52].

R. v. Barry (J.A.), [2000] B.C.T.C. 299 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 54].

R. v. Trang (D.) (2001), 300 A.R. 89 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 54].

R. v. Meuckon (1990), 57 C.C.C.(3d) 193 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 58].

R. v. Korponey, [1982] 1 S.C.R. 41; 44 N.R. 103; 65 C.C.C.(2d) 65, refd to. [para. 73].

Statutes Noticed:

Canada Evidence Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-5, sect. 37 [para. 51].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Martin Committee Report - see Ontario, Attorney General, Report of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee on Charge, Screening, Disclosure and Resolution Discussions.

Ontario, Attorney General, Report of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee on Charge, Screening, Disclosure and Resolution Discussions (Martin Committee Report), pp. 199 to 202 [para. 36].

Counsel:

Jim Johnston and Dennis Hrabcak, for the Attorney General of Canada;

Walter Raponi, for Zhang.

This matter was heard on March 8, 2002, before Lefever, P.C.J., of the Alberta Provincial Court, who delivered the following judgment on March 8 and an addendum on April 16, 2002.

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    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
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    ...refd to. [para. 24]. R. v. Boomer (J.B.) (2000), 182 N.S.R.(2d) 49; 563 A.P.R. 49 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 24]. R. v. Zhang (K.T.F.) (2002) 310 A.R. 67 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. Syncrude Canada Ltd. et al. v. Babcock & Wilcox Canada Ltd. et al. (1992), 135 A.R. 21; 33 W.A.C. 21; 10 C.......
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