RULES OF PROCEDURE AND PRACTICE
The Terms of Reference provide that the Commission shall have the
responsibility to inquire into any and all aspects of the circumstances that
resulted in the death of Neil Stonechild, and the conduct of the investigation
into the death of Neil Stonechild for the purpose of making findings and
recommendations with respect to the administration of criminal justice in the
Province of Saskatchewan.
Public hearings will be convened in Saskatoon to address
issues within the Terms of Reference. Persons or groups granted standing are
referred to in these Rules as parties. The term "party" is used to
convey the grant of standing and is not intended to convey notions of an
The Commissioner may amend or dispense with these Rules as he sees
fit to ensure fairness.
All parties and their counsel shall adhere to these Rules, and
non-compliance with the Rules may result in loss of standing or such
other sanction as the Commissioner may determine as appropriate.
Any party may raise any issue of non-compliance with these Rules
with the Commissioner.
The Commission is committed to a process of public hearings.
However, the Terms of Reference provides that the Commission may, at
the discretion of the Commissioner hold some proceedings in camera.
Any party or witness wishing to have any portion of the proceedings in
camera, shall apply in writing at the earliest possible
opportunity pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 32 below.
Counsel for parties and counsel representing witnesses called to
testify before the Commission may participate during the hearing of
such evidence as provided in these Rules.
In the ordinary course Commission counsel will call and
question witnesses who testify at the Inquiry. Counsel for a party may
apply to the Commissioner to lead a particular witness's evidence
in-chief. If counsel is granted the right to do so, examination shall be
confined to the normal rules governing the examination of one's own
The Commission is entitled to receive any relevant evidence that
might otherwise be inadmissible in a court of law. The strict rules of
evidence will not apply to determine the admissibility of evidence.
Parties shall provide to Commission counsel the names and addresses
of all witnesses they feel ought to be heard, and shall provide to
Commission counsel copies of all relevant documentation, including
statements of anticipated evidence, at the earliest opportunity.
Commission counsel have a discretion to refuse to call or present
When Commission counsel indicate that they have called the witnesses
whom they intend to call in relation to a particular issue, a party
may then apply to the Commissioner for leave to call a witness whom
the party believes has evidence relevant to that issue. If the
Commissioner is satisfied that the evidence of the witnesses is
needed, Commission counsel shall call the witness, subject to Rule 8.
Anyone interviewed by or on behalf of Commission
counsel is entitled, but not required, to have one personal counsel
present for the interview to represent his or her interests. If a person
is employed or holds office with someone who holds standing as a party,
Commission counsel will interview that person only after informing counsel
for the party, unless the witness says they have independent counsel or
instructs Commission counsel that they do not wish counsel for the party
to be present or notified.
If a witness has held prior employment with one or more of the
parties, Commission counsel will tell the witness that they are free
to have the benefit of counsel for that party, but Commission counsel
will proceed with the interview if the witness indicates that they do
not wish counsel for the party by whom they were employed to be
notified or be present during the interview.
Witnesses will give their evidence at a hearing under oath or
Witnesses may require that the Commission hear evidence pursuant to
a subpoena in which case a subpoena shall be issued.
Witnesses who are not represented by counsel for parties with
standing are entitled to have their own counsel present while they
testify. Counsel for a witness will have standing for the purposes of
that witness' testimony to make any objection thought appropriate.
Witnesses may be called more than once.
Before a person gives evidence to the Inquiry, such person shall be
advised that he or she has the protection of section 37 of the Saskatchewan
Evidence Act and section 5 of the Canada Evidence Act.
Order of Examination
The order of examination will be as follows:
Commission counsel will adduce the evidence from the witnesses.
Except as otherwise directed by the Commissioner, Commission counsel
are entitled to adduce evidence by way of both leading and
parties granted standing to do so will then have an opportunity to
cross-examine the witness to the extent of their interest. The order
of cross-examination will be determined by the parties having
standing and if they are unable to reach agreement, by the
counsel for a witness, regardless of whether or not counsel is
also representing a party, will examine last, unless he or she has
adduced the evidence of that witness in-chief, in which case there
will be a right to re-examine the witness; and
Commission counsel will have the right to re-examine.
Except with the permission of the Commissioner, no counsel other
than Commission counsel may speak to a witness about the evidence that
he or she has given until the evidence of such witness is complete.
Commission counsel may not speak to any witness about his or her
evidence while the witness is being cross-examined by other counsel.
Access to Evidence
All evidence shall be categorized and marked P for
public sittings and, if necessary, C for sittings in camera.
Electronic copies of the P transcript of evidence will be provided
to parties by the court reporter. Hard copies of the transcript may be
ordered by anyone prepared to pay the cost. One copy of the P
transcript and the P exhibits of the public hearings will be made
available for public review.
Another copy of the P transcript of the public hearings and a copy
of P exhibits will be available to be shared by the media.
Only those persons authorized by the Commission in writing shall
have access to C transcripts and exhibits.
All relevant documents, including statements of
anticipated evidence, are to be produced to the Commission counsel by any
party with standing at the earliest opportunity.
Originals of relevant documents are to be provided to Commission
counsel upon request.
Counsel to parties and witnesses will be provided with documents and
information, including statements of anticipated evidence, only upon
giving an undertaking that all such documents or information will be
used solely for the purpose of the Inquiry and, where the Commission
considers it appropriate, that its disclosure will be further
restricted. The Commission may require that documents provided, and
all copies made, be returned to the Commission if not tendered in
evidence. Counsel are entitled to provide such documents or
information to their respective clients only on terms consistent with
the undertakings given, and upon the clients entering into written
undertakings to the same effect. These undertakings will be of no
force regarding any document or information once it has become part of
the public record. The Commissioner may, upon application, release any
party in whole or in part from the provisions of the undertaking in
respect of any particular document or other information, or authorize
the disclosure of documents or information to any other person.
Counsel to parties and witnesses will as soon as reasonably possible
after disclosure of documents or information to their clients, or
other persons as authorized by the Commissioner, provide to the
Commission a copy of the undertaking of such person, together with a
list of the documents or information disclosed.
Documents received from a party, or any other organization or
individual, shall be treated as confidential by the Commission unless
and until they are made part of the public record or the Commissioner
otherwise declares. This does not preclude the Commission from
producing a document to a proposed witness prior to the witness giving
his or her testimony, as part of the investigation being conducted, or
pursuant to Rule 26.
Subject to Rule 30 and to the greatest extent possible, Commission
counsel will endeavor to provide in advance to both the witness and
the parties with standing relating to issues with respect to which the
witness is expected to testify, documents that will likely be referred
to during the course of that witness' testimony and a statement of
Parties shall, at the earliest opportunity, provide Commission
counsel with any documents that they intend to file as exhibits or
otherwise refer to during the hearings, and in any event shall provide
such documents no later than the day before the document will be
referred to or filed.
A party who believes that Commission counsel has not provided copies
of relevant documents must bring this to the attention of Commission
counsel at the earliest opportunity. The object of this rule is to
prevent witnesses from being surprised with a relevant document that
they have not had an opportunity to examine prior to their testimony.
If Commission counsel decides the document is not relevant, it shall
not be produced as a relevant document. This does not preclude the
document from being used in cross-examination by any of the parties.
Before such a document may be used for the purposes of cross
examination, a copy must be made available to all parties by counsel
intending to use it not later than the day prior to the testimony of
that witness, subject to the discretion of the Commissioner.
If the proceedings are televised, applications may be
made for an order that the evidence of a witness not be televised or
Any witness may apply to the Commissioner to be granted
"Confidentiality" which shall be at the discretion of the
Commissioner, and on such terms as the Commissioner shall determine.
For the purposes of the Inquiry, Confidentiality shall include the
right to have the witness's identity disclosed only by way of
non-identifying initials, and, if the witness so wishes, the right to
testify before the Commission in private. Subject to the discretion of
the Commissioner, only the Commissioner, Commission staff and counsel,
counsel for parties with standing, and counsel for the witness who has
been granted Confidentiality may be present during testimony being
heard in private. With leave of the Commissioner, media
representatives may be present during testimony being heard in
A witness who is granted Confidentiality will not be identified in
the public records and transcripts of the hearing except by
non-identifying initials. Any reports of the Commission using the
evidence of witnesses who have been granted Confidentiality will use
non-identifying initials only.
Media reports relating to the evidence of a witness granted
Confidentiality shall avoid references that might reveal the identity
of the witness. No photographic or other reproduction of the witness
shall be made either during the witness' testimony or upon his or her
entering and leaving the site of the Inquiry.
Any witness who is granted Confidentiality will reveal his or her
name to the Commission and, subject to the discretion of the
Commissioner, to counsel participating in the Inquiry in order that
counsel can prepare to question the witness. The Commission and
counsel shall maintain confidentiality of the names revealed to them.
No such information shall be used for any other purpose either during
or after the completion of the Commission's mandate.
Any witness who is granted Confidentiality may either swear an oath
or affirm to tell the truth using the non-identifying initials given
for the purpose of the witness's testimony.
All parties, their counsel, and media representatives shall be
deemed to undertake to adhere to the rules respecting Confidentiality.
A breach of these rules by a party, counsel to a party or a media
representative shall be dealt with by the Commissioner, as he sees