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Supreme Court unanimously allows appeal in R v Slatter

On November 6, 2020 the Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal in R v Slatter stating:

“We would simply underline that when assessing the credibility and reliability of testimony given by an individual who has an intellectual or developmental disability, courts should be wary of preferring expert evidence that attributes general characteristics to that individual, rather than focusing on the individual’s veracity and their actual capacities as demonstrated by their ability to perceive, recall and recount the events in issue, in light of the totality of the evidence. Over-reliance on generalities can perpetuate harmful myths and stereotypes about individuals with disabilities, which is inimical to the truth-seeking process, and creates additional barriers for those seeking access to justice.” The Supreme Court’s reasons underscore key points that interveners LEAF, DAWN and ARCH  advanced in this case. Substantive equality requires courts to assess evidence based on the actual abilities and individual circumstances of women with disabilities, as opposed to generalizations about their disabilities. Generalizations, myths and ableist stereotypes about women with disabilities create barriers to justice and have no place in the criminal justice system. The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R v Slatter is available at:

November 12, 2020