Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Transcript Definition:

An official direct and verbatim written record of what was said, as in a court of law or other judicial proceedings, or even private conversations.

R v Ouellet was a 1976 Canadian case, published at 33 Canadian Criminal Cases 2d 417, in which the issue was what was meant by the word 'transcript' when used in the Criminal Code requiring the prosecution to give to the accused a transcript of any private communications it intends to use as evidence at trial.

In R v Ouellet, the accused received a translation. The Crown argued that it was a transcript, which did not sit well with the trial judge:

"A transcript is a direct, written copy of words used in a conversation. A translation is an interpretation in another language of words used in a conversation. Clearly, the words are not synonymous. Effect must be given to the "plain and obvious" meaning of the word "transcript". Had Parliament intended a wider meaning it would and could have shown that intention explicitly and not left it to be "gathered by mere doubtful inference".... In my opinion, and with great respect for the contrary opinion ... the accused in this case should have been served with a transcript in the language used in the conversation, i.e. French."

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