Thursday, March 27, 2008

Polygraph Results Ruled Inadmissible in Ontario Civil Courts

Via the always exceptional Cavanaugh Williams law blog, this report on a decision of the Ontario Divisional Court, ruling polygraph test results are inadmissible as evidence in Ontario civil court proceedings:

Justice Quinn reviewed the law. He said that evidence that a person has offered to submit to polygraph testing can be admissible, but that was a neutral factor here, since both parties had made such an offer. Secondly, the questions and answers from the testing can be admissible, if they constitute admissions against interest. But the test results themselves are not admissible because they usurp the jurisdiction of the trier of fact. As His Honour said, “the court should not delegate its jurisdiction, even on consent”. Hence, a new trial was ordered.

See: Petti v. George Coppel Jewellers Ltd.

A number of news, background and research articles on the efficacy of polygraph tests can be found here.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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