The Supreme Court will hear the case concerning a secret trial in Quebec
The Supreme Court of Canada has been seized by several media who dispute the total secrecy surrounding the content of this trial.
The Supreme Court of Canada agrees to hear the case regarding the secret trial that took place recently in Quebec.
In its decision announced Thursday, the highest court in the land does not provide any explanation or justification as to the reasons that prompted it to hear this case.
According what is known is that this criminal trial, of which all the documents are heavily redacted, was that of a police informant tried for a crime whose nature we do not know and of which he was declared guilty.
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The existence of this secret trial had been discovered by the daily newspaper La Presse in March 2022 in a heavily redacted judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal.
The accused having challenged the guilty verdict pronounced against him at first instance, the Court of Appeal was seized of the case. The court then issued a stay of proceedings – resulting in the acquittal of the accused – while maintaining the confidentiality order that surrounds the file.
It is therefore impossible to know the judicial district where the trial took place, the nature of the crime(s), the police forces involved, the names of the parties and even the name of the judge in order to preserve the complete anonymity of the accused and the cause.
The existence of this trial, which was held in the greatest secrecy, had raised several questions about the legality of such a measure. Judges, in particular, had considered that this closed trial contravened the principle of the public justice system. The Quebec Minister of Justice, Simon Jolin-Barrette, had also expressed his reservations and asked to learn more about this “phantom trial”.
Lawyers representing the Court of Quebec and the Attorney General of Quebec then asked the Court of Appeal to reveal certain information relating to this file, but without success.
Lawyers for a media group – including La Presse, Radio-Canada, the Cooperative nationale de l& #x27;independent information, Groupe TVA and MediaQMI –, which also argued in favor of a partial or complete lifting of this confidentiality order, were also dismissed.
The case was finally taken to the Supreme Court by the Government of Quebec and the media consortium.