The Admissibility of Business Records as Legal Evidence: A Review of the Business Records Exception to the Hearsay Rule in Canada

  • Donald C. Force


Records professionals play an important role in increasing the likelihood that business records will be admitted as evidence. This article discusses the business records exception to the hearsay rule and the ways in which business records may be tendered as evidence in Canada. By reviewing Canadian case law, the author examines several criteria that could contribute to a judge’s decision to admit a business record as evidence and identifies ways that records professionals can help their organization satisfy each of the criteria. It is argued that the act of sound and structured recordkeeping helps an organization increase the likelihood that its business records will be admitted as evidence. 


Les spécialistes en gestion de l’information jouent un rôle important afin d’augmenter la probabilité que les documents d’archives des entreprises soient admis comme preuves. Cet article discute du cas des documents d’archives des entreprises comme exception à la règle et il examine les façons dont ils peuvent être mis en adjudication au Canada. En faisant l’étude de la jurisprudence canadienne, l’auteur examine plusieurs critères qui pourraient contribuer à la décision d’un juge d’admettre comme preuve un document d’archives d’entreprise et il identifie les façons dont les spécialistes en gestion de l’information peuvent venir en aide à leur organisation en satisfaisant à chacun de ces critères. L’auteur affirme qu’une gestion des documents solide et structurée permet à une institution d’augmenter la probabilité que ses documents d’archives d’entreprise soient admis comme preuve. 

Author Biography

Donald C. Force

Donald C. Force is an assistant professor at the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he teaches archives and records management courses. In 2013, he completed his doctoral studies at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia. His dissertation, “Pursuing the ‘Usual and Ordinary Course of Business’: An Exploratory Study of the Role of Recordkeeping Standards in the Use of Records as Evidence in Canada,” examined the nexus between recordkeeping standards and the admissibility of business records as evidence. He has published on the topic of e-discovery and has also given numerous presentations in Canada and the United States on legal issues associated with recordkeeping practices, such as e-discovery, the admissibility of business records, and the best evidence rule.

How to Cite
Force, Donald C. 2014. “The Admissibility of Business Records As Legal Evidence: A Review of the Business Records Exception to the Hearsay Rule in Canada”. Archivaria 78 (November), 25-51.