Can a witness testify as to statements made to that witness by someone else?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from R. v. Asling, 2011 ONCJ 838 (CanLII):

1. A witness may testify as to statements made to that witness by someone else if those statements have relevance and if they are not rendered inadmissible by a rule of evidence. Reference: R v. P.R., [1990] O.J. No. 3418, at para 6.

2. Relevance is situational and depends not only on the ultimate issue in the case (e.g., identification), but also on the other factual issues which either of the litigants raises as relevant to the ultimate issue. For example, the deceased's mental state may bear no direct relevance to the ultimate issue of identification but it will nonetheless be relevant to that issue if it is relevant to another fact (e.g., motive) which is directly relevant to the ultimate issue of identification. Reference: R v. P.R., [1990] O.J. No. 3418, at paras 9-11.

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