BC Court of Appeal releases important decision on “gatekeeper” role of trial judges when admitting expert evidence

August 31, 2017

J.P. v. British Columbia (Children and Family Development), 2017 BCCA 308

In a unanimous decision released on August 31, 2017, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for B.G., a father accused of sexually abusing his four children.

Proceedings in the Court of Appeal commenced in August 2015 when the Province appealed the findings of liability against it at the conclusion of the civil trial of the father. Miller Thomson agreed to represent B.G. on a pro bono basis.

Miller Thomson lawyers Morgan Camley and Robin Dean successfully argued that the trial judge’s reliance on flawed expert opinion evidence led to a fundamentally unfair trial and caused a miscarriage of justice.

This case stands as an important example of the vital “gatekeeper” role that a trial judge must play when admitting the evidence of experts.

Detailed case summary