What is the test for credibility of evidence in a sexual assault case?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Kondolay v. Pyrotek Aerospace Ltd., 2020 BCHRT 208 (CanLII):

In weighing the witness’ evidence, I have applied the principles summarized by Justice Dillon in Bradshaw v. Stenner: Credibility involves an assessment of the trustworthiness of a witness’ testimony based upon the veracity or sincerity of a witness and the accuracy of the evidence that the witness provides … The art of assessment involves examination of various factors such as the ability and opportunity to observe events, the firmness of his memory, the ability to resist the influence of interest to modify his recollection, whether the witness’ evidence harmonizes with independent evidence that has been accepted, whether the witness changes his testimony during direct and cross-examination, whether the witness’ testimony seems unreasonable, impossible, or unlikely, whether a witness has a motive to lie, and the demeanour of a witness generally …. Ultimately, the validity of the evidence depends on whether the evidence is consistent with the probabilities affecting the case as a whole and shown to be in existence at the time … Bradshaw v. Stenner, 2010 BCSC 1398, aff’d 2012 BCCA 296, leave to appeal refused, [2012] SCCA No. 392 at para. 186 [citations omitted]

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