Keeping Up Is Hard to Do:
A Trial Judge’s Reading Blog

In R. v. Martin, 2021 NLCA 48, August 24, 2021, the Court of Appeal held that a trial judge’s reasons for convicting must comply with the following requirements (at paragraph 7):

· the reasons must demonstrate that the judge had seized the substance of the critical issue of a reasonable doubt in the context of a credibility assessment;

· sufficiency of the reasons should be considered in light of the deference afforded to trial judges on credibility findings;

· a trial judge is not required to set out every finding or conclusion in the process of arriving at the verdict;

· rarely will the deficiencies in the trial judge’s credibility analysis merit intervention on appeal;

· a failure to sufficiently articulate how credibility concerns were resolved may constitute reversible error; and

· the accused is entitled to know why the trial judge is left with no reasonable doubt.