Criminal law can be differentiated from civil proceedings, where both sides are obligated to provide all relevant evidence, in that there is an inherent asymmetry in the information the Crown possesses. This is particularly important given the burden of proof that is imposed on the Crown.
The B.C. Court of Appeal stated in R. v. C. (M.H.),
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 …there is a general duty on the part of the Crown to disclose all material it proposes to use at trial and especially all evidence which may assist the accused even if the Crown does not propose to adduce it.