Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Red Herring Definition:

An irrelevant legal issue.

In R v Glover, the Alberta Court of Appeal :

"[R]ed herring is used in contemporaneous speech to refer to a topic which has no substantial relevance, and tends to distract one. Whatever its origin, the phrase no longer refers to fox hunting or to deliberate trickiness. It is used by lawyers and judges all the time...."

In R v Ayvaz, Justice Clark adopted these words at ¶6:

"[R]ed herring is ... an irrelevant legal or factual issue."

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