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  • John Burchill

Alibi Evidence: Responsibility for Disclosure and Investigation

Your client is facing trial on a serious offence which, if convicted, could result in a significant penitentiary term. He has told you he is innocent and provided you with a story that, if believed, puts him hundreds of miles from the crime at the relevant time. You do some basic fact checking on the story and decide to call your client as your only witness.

For tactical reasons, or maybe because you don’t trust the police or the Crown with the information, you decide not to disclose the information in advance of trial. Your client turns out to be mistaken about some of the information he gave you under cross examination.

In this short paper, I explore the the impact of alibi evidence, its risks and benefits. The implications can have serious effects on trial efficacy, fairness and timeliness.

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