Charter Cases: Section 9: Arbitrary Detention

Section 9 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

R. v. Loewen, 2011 SCC 21

A police officer had smelled marijuana on the Appellant, Derek Loewen, after stopping him for speeding, and came to the conclusion that he had committed the indictable offence of possession for the purpose of trafficking. The officer proceeded to search Mr. Loewen and found 100 grams of crack cocaine. This appeal dealt with the legality of the detention and search. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 8: Search & Seizure, Section 9: Arbitrary Detention

R. v. Harrison, [2009] 2 SCR 494

Bradley Harrison and a friend were driving from Vancouver to Toronto in a rented SUV when an Ontario police officer stopped them for having no front license plate. Because the vehicle was registered in Alberta, there was no legal requirement that it have a front license plate. Despite this, the police officer continued the detention, questioning the accused and eventually searching the vehicle. This search yielded two cardboard boxes containing 35-kilograms of cocaine. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 24: Enforcement of Rights, Section 8: Search & Seizure, Section 9: Arbitrary Detention

R. v. Suberu, 2009 SCC 33

A police constable deployed to a retail store to investigate the reported use of a stolen credit card witnessed Musibau Suberu leaving the store as he arrived. As Mr. Suberu got into his vehicle, the constable approached him, saying: “Wait a minute. I need to talk to you before you go anywhere.” After a brief exchange, the constable received a radio communication from his colleagues, providing a vehicle description and license plate number which matched the vehicle in which Mr. Suebru was sitting. A search of the vehicle yielded stolen merchandise and resulted in Mr. Suberu being charged with fraud. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 10(b): Right to Counsel, Section 10: Rights on Arrest, Section 9: Arbitrary Detention

R. v. Grant, 2009 SCC 32

In Grant, the Supreme Court of Canada revisited and revised the test laid out in R. v. Collins, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 265, increasing the standard for the exclusion of evidence set out in Section 24(2) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 8: Search & Seizure, Section 9: Arbitrary Detention

R. v. Clayton, 2007 SCC 32

Police responded to a late-night 911 call, reporting that approximately ten “black guys” were openly brandishing handguns in a strip club parking lot. Four vehicles were also described. A road block was quickly set up in order to interview potential suspects leaving the parking lot. One of the vehicles pulled over by the police (which did not match the description of those mentioned in the 911 call) contained two black males who were questioned. One of the suspects exited the vehicle and tried (unsuccessfully) to escape. Police subsequently searched both suspects and found them to be in possession of prohibited handguns. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 8: Search & Seizure, Section 9: Arbitrary Detention

Charkaoui v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2007 SCC 9

The appellants in this case challenged Sections 77 to 85 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which authorized the federal government to detain a permanent resident or refugee for national security reasons. Although detainees could challenge these so called “security certificates” in Federal Court, they were not entitled to review the evidence against them. Furthermore, once a Federal Court judge determined that the certificate was “reasonable” (on the basis of evidence that the accused could not see), there was no avenue of appeal or judicial review. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 15: Equality Rights, Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person, Section 9: Arbitrary Detention

R. v. Mann, [2004] 3 S.C.R. 59

The accused, Philip Henry Mann, had been placed under investigative detention by police on the grounds that he matched the description of a break and enter suspect. While under investigative detention, he submitted to a pat down search for weapons, and police proceeded to search his pockets, ultimately finding a bag of marijuana. It soon became apparent that Mr. Mann had no connection to the alleged break and enter for which he was initially detained. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 24: Enforcement of Rights, Section 8: Search & Seizure, Section 9: Arbitrary Detention

R. v. Simpson, 1993 CanLII 3379 (ON CA)

When a police officer witnessed two individuals leaving a suspected “crack house” in a vehicle, he followed them, pulling the vehicle over several blocks away. While questioning the occupants of the vehicle, he noticed a bulge in the passenger’s front pocket, and asked the passenger to remove the object which proved to be a bag of cocaine. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 8: Search & Seizure, Section 9: Arbitrary Detention