The principle of Proportionality in documentary disclosure has been clearly endorsed by the Court of Appeal where it was described as a “fundamental” principle of all civil proceedings in Ontario. In Kovachis v. Kovachis, 2013 ONCA 663, the Court held that, before striking the husband’s pleadings in a family law matter, the motions judge ought to have given consideration to the Proportionality principle. While the Court noted that full and frank disclosure is a necessary component of family law litigation, it also held that exhaustive disclosure may not always be appropriate in the circumstances. On the facts, the court found that none of the requested disclosure was so important to the issues in the proceeding that the pleadings should have been struck. In all civil cases, the importance of disclosure requests must therefore be weighed against the burden of such requests on the disclosing party, the relevance of the requested disclosure to the issues, and the costs and time to obtain disclosure. Always good to hear such a strong endorsement of the Proportionality principle!
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