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“Doing Your Own Research” Won’t Always Help to Win the Case: ONCA

20 Jun 2023 5:37 PM | CAN-TECH Law (Administrator)

Materials gathered from internet improperly admitted in contested family law case

In J.N. v. C.G., the Ontario Court of Appeal heard an appeal from a lower court judge’s decision awarding the mother of two children decision-making authority regarding whether the children should receive the COVID vaccine. The father (from whom the mother was divorced), who wanted the children vaccinated, had applied for decision-making authority but was opposed by the mother, who did not want the children vaccinated. In support of her argument the mother filed numerous unsworn “reports,” excerpts from publications that purported to be medical journals, and opinions given by people whose professional qualifications (if any) were not established or verifiable. The trial judge relied on these as essentially providing expert evidence, at least to the effect that the efficacy and safety of the COVID vaccines was not established and that suggestions that they were had been authoritatively disputed. On the father’s appeal, the Court of Appeal ruled that the judge had erred in so doing, in reasons that are worth quoting at some length:

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