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SCC Decision: October 2, 2008

F.H. v. McDougall, 2008 SCC 53
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(Evidence / Civil standard of proof)
H alleged that M had sexually assaulted him while H was a resident of an Indian Residential School in British Columbia between 1966 and 1969.  H was a resident and M worked at the school at those times.   Despite inconsistencies in H's testimony, the trial judge found him to be credible and concluded that he had been anally raped by M on four occasions.  The Court of Appeal overturned the decision, finding that the trial judge had failed to consider the serious inconsistencies in H's testimony.  The Court restored the trial judge's decision, holding that the only civil standard of proof - proof on a balance of probabilities - had been met.  Where credibility is in issue, the trial judge must be accorded a heightened degree of deference by appeal courts.  The Court also noted that corroborating evidence is not required by a sexual assault victim in an "oath against oath" case.
Majority/Dissent: 7/0

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