The assessment of credibility and reliability is always a central part of an investigator’s work. My colleague, Chantel Levy, wrote an excellent overview of the considerations a decision maker should bear in mind when making a finding of credibility, including consistency, corroborative evidence, plausibility, and motive.
We have had mandates to investigate allegations of sexual abuse that occurred many years ago. As we point out to clients who wish to retain us, beyond the complexities of every case of this kind, most notably that there is usually no direct evidence of the event having transpired, “historic” cases present unique challenges: Witnesses may no longer be available, documents may have been destroyed, and memories inevitably fade.
In the world of workplace investigations, we often hear of adopting a trauma-informed approach in sexual harassment cases. We especially heard this during the #MeToo movement, and, indeed, it was necessary.
In a workplace investigation, a corroborating witness is a person whose evidence supports or confirms the evidence of another witness, including a complainant or respondent. Given that people’s memories naturally fade over time, minor inconsistencies between witness accounts are often not significant and, in many cases, to be expected.
An investigation usually involves a complainant and a respondent. The basic premise is that as workplace investigators, we hear what each party has to say, collect other relevant evidence, and then weigh the evidence to decide whether, on a balance of probabilities, the allegations are substantiated.
A lot of work goes into producing an investigation report that is well-written and well-reasoned. But the finished product is more than just a set of words—it is also a visual experience for the reader. While visual elements such as white space and word font certainly enhance readability, in this blog post I focus on the communicative power of visual aids (images, tables, charts, etc.) and provide some best practices for including them in investigation reports.
Si l’année 2022 nous a déjà fourni amples sujets de discussions tels que la gifle de Will Smith aux Oscars, ou encore le procès en diffamation de Johnny Depp, la récente décision de la Cour d’appel de l’Ontario dans l’affaire Render v. ThyssenKrupp Elevator (Canada) Limited, 2022 ONCA 310 (CanLII), rejoint, à mon avis, aisément ce palmarès.
I recently conducted a workplace investigation that included an allegation that an internal workplace investigation was unfair. Several witnesses who were interviewed as part of the internal investigation had provided evidence that was favourable to the complainant, but neither party to the internal investigation was provided with an opportunity to respond to this witness evidence in a follow-up interview.