In a mid-trial ruling, the Supreme Court of Yukon refused to admit an expert report of Dr. Paul McHugh.

During an earlier phase in the trial, Dr. McHugh had been qualified as an expert legal historian: 2011 YKSC 87 and 2012 YKSC 4. His opinion evidence was related to the creation of the Rupert’s Land and North-western Territory Order (U.K.) on 23 June 1870, and historical Crown-Aboriginal relations. In May 2013, the Yukon Court of Appeal overturned the judgment of the Supreme Court on a “threshold issue” of justiciability, due to the procedure followed by the trial judge, but did not deal with the issues of Dr. McHugh’s qualifications or the admissibility of his evidence: 2013 YKCA 6.

At this stage of the trial, Gower J. declined to admit Dr. McHugh’s report. For “reasons to follow”, the Court held that it was appropriate to recall Dr. McHugh to respond to criticisms of his methodology contained in an article by Professor McNeil. His evidence would be limited within that sphere.


Scott Kerwin


Aboriginal Law