The Current Status Of Law Of Matrimonial Privilege Regarding Communications Between Spouses And Any Problems
It is my intention to discuss the current status in law of matrimonial privilege regarding communications between spouses and any problems I foresee regarding an amendment to s. 4 of the Canada Evidence Act to include those who are common-law spouses. I intend to discuss what this law currently means in its current form, what Canada deems to be common-law, the current stance in Ontario on common-law marriage and spousal privilege, what the problems may be if common-law spouses are amended in, what my position is regarding an amendment, and any benefits to those who may be deemed fit by law.
Law as it stands:
Section 4 of the Canada Evidence Act states that every person charged with an offence, and, except as otherwise provided in this section, the wife or husband, as the case may be, of the person so charged, is a competent witness for the defence, whether the person so charged is charged solely or jointly with any other person, it states further that no person is incompetent, or uncompellable, to testify for the prosecution by reason only that they are married to the accused, 4(3) states that no husband is compellable to disclose any communication made to him by his wife during their marriage, and no wife is compellable to disclose any communication made to her by her husband during their marriage. With this section as it stands, it means that a spouse is not considered incompetent to be compelled for the prosecution. However, as…