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Originally held on October 1, 2014, this archived webinar is now available for purchase On Demand as a video stream with downloadable link to material.

On July 31, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its long-awaited decision in R. v. Hart, SCC 2014 52, the “Mr. Big” confession case.

An RCMP innovation, the so-called “Mr. Big” sting has been used to investigate major crimes, especially murders, in Canada since the late 1980s. It has been hailed for its success in solving difficult cases, but it has also attracted criticism for its apparent potential to induce false confessions.

In Hart, the Supreme Court announced a new common law rule of evidence intended to screen Mr. Big confessions for reliability before admitting them into evidence. While not prohibiting the Mr. Big technique outright, this new regime will create a dramatic change in how these cases are investigated and, ultimately, litigated.

This program features two of the lawyers who argued the Hart appeal in the Supreme Court, from the Crown and defence perspectives. It is intended to offer guidance on what the Hart decision means for police, prosecutors, and defence counsel, with topics including:

    • What does Hart mean for cases that have already been investigated using the Mr. Big technique?
    • What does it mean for Mr. Big going forward?
    • What techniques and safeguards are available to police investigators to ensure that a confession is ruled admissible?
    • What advice should Crown counsel give to police contemplating or executing a Mr. Big strategy?
    • What is the new common law rule of evidence announced by Hart? How does it interact with other rules of evidence that also might be at issue?
    • What strategies should defence counsel deploy to contest the admissibility of a Mr. Big confession?
    • How does Hart’s reliability-based analysis mesh with its concern about unacceptable police conduct?
    • Under the abuse of process doctrine described in Hart, when does police conduct cross the line of permissibility?



    • Lesley A. Ruzicka, Crown Counsel, Crown Law Division, Criminal, Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice, British Columbia
    • Matthew Gourlay, Henein Hutchison LLP

Group Discounts

2-3 delegates: 25% off archived program fee
4-10 delegates: 30% off archived program fee
11+ delegates: 35% off archived program fee
Boardroom rates available.


The video stream, including link to program materials will be sent to you via email as soon as payment is successfully processed.


All sales are final. Please make all enquiries related to program content and CPD/MCLE credit hours prior to purchase. In the event you experience technical difficulties, please contact opdsupport@osgoode.yorku.ca for assistance.

Program Details

Delivery Method

Web - On Demand

Running Time


Fee per Delegate

$175 plus HST

Buy Now

Eligible CPD Credit Hours


Who Should Attend

  • Head of training for law enforcement
  • Municipal police forces
  • Provincial police across Canada
  • Crowns across Canada and federal criminal law Crowns
  • Defence lawyers across Canada

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