Is there any prejudice in a sexual assault case where there has been a significant passage of time between August 2003 and July 2004?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from McGregor v. International Quest Engineering and Lecher, 2005 BCHRT 500 (CanLII):

In some cases, where the passage of time is significant, prejudice can be inferred based on the fading of witnesses’ memories and the difficulty of locating documents: Gerini et al v. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver et al, 2003 BCHRT 42 at para. 11. In this case, however, I am not persuaded that there has been such a significant passage of time so that prejudice can be inferred. In any litigation, memories will fade, regardless of the length of time between the events giving rise to the allegations and the filing of the complaint. Based both on the general description of events from August 2003 through to July 2004, and the detailed description and particularization of each allegation after that, I am satisfied that the respondents will be able to prepare a defence to the complaint and I am therefore persuaded that there is no substantial prejudice in this case.

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