CASE LAW - R v Schryvers

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis is a case that dates back to November 1, 1962 in the British Columbia Supreme Court. It is the origin of what is known among police officers as the Schryvers Test and is used to assist in properly identifying the driver in traffic court as the accused.

If you have been stopped for a traffic violation, presented your driver's licence to the officer and have been asked:

  1. Is this your driver's licence?
  2. What is your name?
  3. What is your address?
  4. Is that your photo?
  5. Is that your signature?

You have taken part in the Schryvers Test and the officer has satisfied themself that absent of any reason not to believe you this may be sufficient identification for traffic court purposes if you dispute the ticket.



Case Name:


[1962] B.C.J. No. 68

[1963] 2 C.C.C. 286

British Columbia Supreme Court

Munroe, J.

Judgment: November 1, 1962

(8 paras.)


G. H. Johnson, for appellant.

W. L. Stirling, for respondent.


1 MUNROE, J.:--This is an appeal by way of stated case pursuant to the provisions of the Summary Convictions Act, R.S.B.C. 1960, c. 373, from a conviction made on July 16, 1962 by His Worship Magistrate C.C. Bell, whereby the appellant was convicted of unlawfully driving a motor vehicle upon a highway at a greater rate of speed than 30 m.p.h., contrary to the form of statute in such case made and provided.

2 The conviction is questioned only on the ground that there was allegedly no legal evidence to support the finding of the learned Magistrate that the appellant did drive or was the driver of the motor vehicle referred to in the charge and proceedings.

3 The evidence accepted and acted upon by the learned Magistrate was that of a police constable who testified that when he stopped the motor vehicle in question the male driver thereof identified himself as Johannes Schryvers and produced a driver's licence issued to a person bearing that name. Under that name the appellant was charged, appeared, pleaded not guilty, was convicted, and Page 2 brought this appeal. At the trial, the accused elected not to testify or call any evidence on his own behalf.

4 The constable was unable at the trial to identify the accused as the male driver above referred to and the appellant places reliance thereupon and submits that there was, therefore, no evidence of the identity of the driver to support the conviction.

5 It is clear from the authorities that a stated case to this Court is limited to a point of law or question of jurisdiction (see R. v. McLeod, 97 C.C.C. 366, 10 C.R. 318, [1950] 2 W.W.R. 456), and that, therefore, I may consider only whether or not there was any evidence to support the conviction. I have no jurisdiction to weigh the evidence or to question the sufficiency thereof unless I can find that there was no evidence upon which the Magistrate could reasonably convict (see R. v. Holbrook (1961), 130 C.C.C. 302), and I cannot make such a finding in this case.

6 I am of opinion that the case stated does not raise any question of law only and this Court is, therefore, without jurisdiction to hear and determine this appeal.

7 If I am wrong in so holding, I would find that the learned Magistrate came to a correct determination and decision in point of law. Since the appellant would have peculiarly within his own knowledge all the relevant facts to rebut the prima facie case established by the Crown evidence herein, the onus of proof that he was not the driver, in the circumstances above related, might properly be regarded by the Magistrate as shifting to him, particularly in view of s. 58 of the Motor-vehicle Act, R.S.B.C. 1960, c. 253, which makes it an offence for any person driving a motor vehicle on a highway to refuse or fail to state correctly his name and address when requested by any Peace Officer to state the same. I conclude by paraphrasing and adopting with respect the words of Roach, J.A., when delivering the judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal in R. v. Grainger, 120 C.C.C. 321, [1958] O.W.N. 311, 28 C.R. 84, to the effect that if the evidence was subject to all the weaknesses which the appellant enumerated in argument, the appellant "could have called evidence to show these facts. He did not. On the only evidence before the Magistrate, it was open to him to convict the accused".

8 The appeal is dismissed.