His Majesty the King v. Olivier Chatillon

(Quebec) (Criminal) (As of Right)

(Publication ban in case)


Criminal law — Evidence — Admissibility — Admissions — Wigmore test — Whether majority of Quebec Court of Appeal erred in law in finding respondent’s admissions inadmissible on ground that they were privileged under Wigmore test.


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch). Please note that summaries are not provided to the Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file and website for information purposes only.


After a trial in the Court of Québec, the respondent, Olivier Chatillon, was convicted of one count of sexual assault of a child. The trial judge held that the prosecution’s case could be based on the admissions made to the professionals who had assessed him, although he had met with them during an entirely voluntary therapeutic process to receive treatment for problems associated with substance abuse and sexual deviance. The Court of Appeal, for the reasons given by Vauclair J.A. and concurred in by Healy J.A., granted the motion for leave to appeal, allowed the appeal and acquitted the respondent. It declared that the admissions were inadmissible in evidence based on its analysis of the Wigmore criteria for privilege. Mainville J.A., dissenting, would have dismissed the respondent’s appeal on the ground that the admissions were admissible because they were not privileged. By consenting to the disclosure of his admissions, the respondent had expressly waived their confidentiality.

Lower Court Rulings

June 1, 2020
Court of Quebec

2020 QCCQ 2044, 455-01-016160-180
Conviction for sexual assault entered
August 1, 2022
Court of Appeal of Quebec (Montréal)

2022 QCCA 1072, 500-10-007350-208
Motion for leave to appeal allowed; appeal allowed; respondent acquitted