Charter Cases: Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 59

The Canadian Bar Association and Trial Lawyers Association mounted a constitutional challenge of hearing fees imposed by the Province of British Columbia. The fees in question amounted to between $500 and $800 per day of court time. In the context of a ten-day family trial, the fees amounted almost to the family’s net income for an entire month. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, 2013 SCC 72

The Respondents, a group of prostitutes and former prostitutes, argued that a number of Criminal Code provisions prohibiting expression and commercial activities relating to prostitution were in breach of Sections 7 and 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Continue reading

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Filed under Section 2(b): Freedom of Expression, Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

R. v. Ahmed-Kadir, 2013 BCCA 269

The appellant, Aras Ahmed-Kadir, had been convicted of four offences involving unlicensed handgun possession and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. After filing his Notice of Appeal, he applied for the equivalent of a Rowbotham order, asking the court to appoint counsel pursuant to Section 684 of the Criminal Code. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

R. v. Levkovic, 2013 SCC 25

Ivana Levkovic was charged under Section 243 of the Criminal Code with concealing the dead body of a child, after the remains of a newborn baby (allegedly “at or near full term”) was found in her vacated apartment. Levkovic challenged the constitutionality of Section 243 as being unconstitutionally vague, insofar as it related to a child which died before birth and was therefore stillborn. She argued that the law constituted an infringement on her right to liberty and interfered with every woman’s right not to disclose a naturally failed pregnancy. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

R. v. N.S., 2012 SCC 72

Two accused persons stood charged with sexually assaulting N.S. When called to testify, N.S. stated that she wished to wear a niqab which covered her face, and which she insisted was a necessary part of her Muslim faith. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 11(d): Presumption of Innocence, Section 2(a): Freedom of Religion, Section 2: Fundamental Freedoms, Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

R. v. Hill, 2012 ONSC 5050

Roland Hill challenged the constitutionality of Section 753(1.1) of the Criminal Code, arguing that it violated the presumption of innocence and principles of fundamental justice insofar as shifted the burden of proof onto convicted offenders to demonstrate that they should not be prosecuted as “dangerous offenders.” Continue reading

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Filed under Section 11(d): Presumption of Innocence, Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

R. v. Bellusci, 2012 SCC 44

The Appellant, Riccardo Bellusci, had been charged with assault and intimidation of a justice system participant after an altercation with a prison guard while being transported from court to jail. Mr. Bellusci was acquitted of the assault charges and a judicial stay of proceedings was entered in regard to the “intimidation” charge: Continue reading

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Filed under Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

R. v. Roy, 2012 SCC 26

Although not decided on the basis of the Charter, this case provides valuable insight into the necessary fault requirement for a criminal conviction, breathing new meaning into the “principles of fundamental justice” stemming from our common law tradition, and later enshrined in Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

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

Chaoulli v. Quebec (Attorney General), [2005] 1 S.C.R. 791

In Chaoulli v. Quebec, the Appellant Zeliotis was a patient who had not been able to acquire publicly funded medical care in a timely fashion, while the Appellant Chaoulli was a doctor willing and able to provide medical care outside of the public system. The Appellants challenged two pieces of Quebec legislation, s. 15 of the Health Insurance Act and s. 11 of the Hospital Insurance Act, as being inconsistent with s. 1 of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and s. 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person