In R. v. Stinchcombe, the Supreme Court of Canada made it a requirement for Crown prosecutors to disclose to a person charged with a criminal offense all relevant information about their criminal charge - whether or not the Crown intends to introduce it into evidence and whether or not it tends to prove that the accused is guilty or not guilty. Generally, Crown will provide an accused with a disclosure package at their initial appearance, or shortly afterwards.
While the disclosure package usually meets the requirements in R. v. Stinchcombe, for whatever reason, important information is sometimes omitted which could affect an accused’s chances of being acquitted at trial. That’s why it is important to review the Crown disclosure package carefully to see if anything is missing. Look for omitted page numbers, police reports, and witness or complainant statements.
Even if nothing is obviously missing, you may want to write what’s known as a Stinchcombe Letter to the Crown Counsel office asking for further disclosure. The following is an example of some disclosure requests commonly made in a Stinchcombe letter: