Over-reliance on generalities can perpetuate harmful myths and stereotypes about individuals with disabilities, which is inimical to the truth-seeking process, and creates additional barriers for those seeking access to justice.

When assessing the credibility and reliability of testimony given by an individual who has an intellectual or developmental disability, courts should be wary of preferring expert evidence that attributes general characteristics to that individual, rather than focusing on the individual’s veracity and their actual capacities as demonstrated by their ability to perceive, recall and recount the events in issue, in light of the totality of the evidence.

  1.         v. Slatter, 2020 SCC 36.

On a related note see https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/11/18/this-is-demeaning-to-everyone-why-alek-minassians-defence-is-provoking-anger-in-canadas-autism-community.html

Stuart O’Connell (Barrister/Solicitor).