The Supreme Court of Canada has provided guidance on the disclosure of on-board recordings in civil litigation involving transportation incidents. While the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has a statutory privilege to protect the candid communication and evidence provided by pilots, seafarers, and rail operators during TSB investigations, there are circumstances where a court may order the production of on-board recordings if the public interest in the proper administration of justice outweighs the privilege. The court’s decision will depend on factors such as the relevance, probative value, and necessity of the evidence in the on-board recording, as well as considerations of privacy and safety. The article emphasizes that disclosure should not be routine and should only occur when the moving party can establish that the on-board recording contains crucial evidence that is not obtainable elsewhere and is necessary for a fair trial.
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