Testifying by Skype

A judge in a 2012 Ontario family court case has ruled that one of the parties can provide her evidence by Skype.

In P. v C.(2012) ONCJ 88 (CanLII), the father sought to revisit a final custody and access order from 2006 in which he was denied access to his children and a restraining order was put in place. There had been a history of violent behaviour, and he had an alcohol and cocaine addiction.

In the intervening years, the mother became involved in a new relationship and, because of her new partner’s employment, moved out of Canada.

The father began a proceeding to gain access to his children, claiming that he is rehabilitated from his addictions. The mother argued that she could not afford to travel to Canada for these proceedings and wished to provide her testimony by Skype. The father opposed this request.

Justice Ellen Murray, after reviewing the facts of the case, the Family Law Rules and existing case law, determined that evidence can be properly given and demeanour can be effectively assessed electronically.

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