Innocence Compensation: The Success Rate of Actions for Negligent Investigation

32 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2019 Last revised: 25 Apr 2021

See all articles by Dr. Myles Frederick McLellan

Dr. Myles Frederick McLellan

Anglia Ruskin University; Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: June 10, 2019


This research is a qualitative and quantitative analysis on the success rate for plaintiffs who bring actions for negligent investigation against police officers who have wrongly accused them of criminality. This research falls within the broader framework of the success rate of plaintiffs who also seek damages from both police services and crown counsel regarding actions seeking damages for malicious prosecutions, breaches of rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and findings of miscarriages of justice pursuant to s. 691 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The data analysis shows that on a national basis, plaintiffs have a better than one in four chance to succeed in an action claiming damages for the tort of negligent investigation including its comparative remedy at civil law. The case law analysis shows that this tort has been proven when investigations have included relatively benign activity such as a simple mistake up to and including the characterization of police activity as reprehensible and high-handed.

Keywords: innocence, compensation, wrongful convictions, miscarriages of justice, police, police services, negligent investigation, negligence, Charter, Criminal Code, Civil Code, simple fault, fault, reasonable and probable grounds

Suggested Citation

McLellan, Myles Frederick, Innocence Compensation: The Success Rate of Actions for Negligent Investigation (June 10, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Myles Frederick McLellan (Contact Author)

Anglia Ruskin University ( email )

Bishop Lane Hall
United Kingdom

Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics