Windsor Law Faculty Author: David Tanovich
David Tanovich, “R v Andalib-Goortani: Authentication & the Internet", (2014) 13 Criminal Reports (7th) 140
Despite the growing reliance on the internet, electronic communications and social media evidence in adjudicative proceedings, there have been very few cases that have addressed a fundamental aspect of admissibility – authentication. R v Andalib-Goortani is a decision that squarely wrestles with this issue. It arose in the context of the prosecution of a police officer charged with assault with a weapon. The complainant was a blogger reporting on the G20 protests in Toronto. The same officer was previously convicted of assaulting Adam Nobody during those protests and sentenced to 45 days imprisonment. The critical piece of evidence in this second prosecution was a photograph taken at the protest and anonymously uploaded to www.g20justice.com. In this article, I argue that the trial judge appears to have set the admissibility bar to photographs and other evidence posted on the internet too high. The article also examines the role of new provisions in the Canada Evidence Act governing admissibility of electronic evidence.