When you are charged with a criminal offence, and you retain a lawyer, the first thing that your lawyer is going to do is request the complete copy of your disclosure, from the Crown Attorney’s office. Now what is disclosure? Disclosure is all of the evidence that the Crown Attorney has against you. The police have done an investigation, they turn over all of their documents of the investigation, evidence to the crown, so the Crown has that, and the Crown is supposed to turn over to you all relevant documents, any evidence, photographs, witness statements, police notes, investigative reports, you name it, I could go on and on, on what’s in the disclosure but it’s everything they have. And a case by the name of Stinchcombe, from the Supreme court of Canada from quite a few years ago, many years ago, it defined what’s relevant and what should be provided in the disclosure, because sometimes we have disagreements with the Crown about what that is so for example, I will get the initial disclosure package from the Crown and recognize that there’s missing disclosure, and write the Crown and the Crown may agree, and ask the police to provide that, because it hasn’t been provided to them yet or they may say, “look that’s not relevant, it doesn’t meet the test of even slight relevance, ” Now bear in mind, disclosure is both relevant in your favour or against you, it all has be turned over. So, if the Crown and I can’t agree on a piece of disclosure that they are saying it’s not relevant it’s in the police investigative file, which I want the entire police investigation file and we usually get it by the way, the entire police investigative file. But if we are disagreeing on something, then we will need to bring an application, infront of the judge, for defence counsel to argue, that this piece of disclosure is relevant as well and should be turned over to defence counsel and the judge will make that decision, but anyways, this is a very powerful tool, to be able to properly defend yourself in Canada because in the years before Stinchcombe, what we were receiving from the Crown was very uneven. This was even before when I practicing, a long time ago, so sometimes you would just get a sketchy investigative file and get very surprised by certain witnesses at trial when you couldn’t anticipate, what the heck was going on, on the case, but that’s all changed fortunately, we still have our agreements, it’s not a perfect system but for the most part, it works well, so defence counsel and their client, can know everything they are facing to make intelligent decisions, about whether to proceed to trial, or whether to resolve the case in the client’s best interest because either A) they are completely guilty, they can’t win, or the risk of going to trial are too great,. That’s how disclosure is helpful, and it’s a great tool for us to use in Canada and to properly defend clients.