This case involved a lawyer who, during his trial for breach of trust, theft, and fraud, argued that the prosecution had not provided adequate disclosure for him to make a strong defence. Mr. Stinchcombe was convicted of fraud and breach of trust and this conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal, but ultimately set aside by the Supreme Court of Canada, which accepted that contention that Crown disclosure had been incomplete.
Stinchcombe firmly establishes in modern Canadian law the principle that the Crown must disclose all relevant information in its possession. Although this requirement may, at times, add to the cost of criminal prosecutions, it firmly entrenches the common law right of the accused to fully answer the charges against him, thus reducing the risk of wrongful convictions.
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