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Inventory of Reforms

Summary of Ontario Expert Evidence Rules – Cost of Justice


Overview of the rules in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which attempt to reduce the cost and delay associated with expert evidence.


Superior Court of Justice

Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure
Evidence Act, RSO 1990, c E.23
Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure

Description of Reforms:
This summary documents Ontario’s rules which attempt to reduce the cost and delay associated with expert evidence.

Ontario’s expert evidence rules are governed by the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 194. The rules are created by the Civil Rules Committee under the authority of theCourts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43, ss. 65(1) & 67(1). Evidence Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.23 also regulates the admission of expert evidence.

Evidence Act
Section 12 limits the number of expert witnesses that can testify to three without leave of the court.
Where it is intended by a party to examine as witnesses persons entitled, according to the law or practice, to give opinion evidence, not more than three of such witnesses may be called upon either side without the leave of the judge or other person presiding.

R.S.O. 1990, c. E.23, s. 12.
Unlike similar provisions in other jurisdictions, this limit has been interpreted to apply to the entire case as opposed to each separate issue. Each party is limited to three experts in total (unless leave of the court is granted for additional experts). (See Bank of America Canada v. Mutual Trust (1998), 39 O.R. (3d) 134 at 137-138.)

NOTE: Some of the below rules are subject to amendments that will come into force on January 1, 2010
Rule 53.03: Expert Witnesses

Rules 30 & 31

Rule 30 Amendments CIF January 1, 2010 *The requirement to disclose any material “relating to any matter in issue” has been changed to “relevant to any matter in issue”. The “relevance” standard is narrower, and is meant to reduce the amount of documents being disclosed.

Rule 76 – Simplified Procedure

The Civil Justice Reform Project’s 2007 report made several recommendations regarding expert evidence, including (82-84):

Revision History:
This summary was last reviewed in May 27, 2013