Charter Cases: Section 24: Enforcement of Rights

Section 24(1) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such remedy as the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances.

R. v. Vu, 2013 SCC 60

The accused, Thanh Long Vu, was suspected of electricity theft. Police obtained a warrant to search his home, but made no mention in the Information to Obtain that computers might be seized and searched. In the course of the search, a marijuana grow operation was discovered, and evidence obtained from the search of a computer was used to connect Vu with allegations of marijuana production and electricity theft. Continue reading

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

R. v. MacKenzie, 2013 SCC 50

Benjamin Cain MacKenzie was subject to a traffic stop, during which police developed a suspicion that he was trafficking drugs. The factors pointed to by the officers on the scene were Mr. MacKenzie’s “erratic manner of driving, high level of nervousness, the pinkish hue of his eyes, his course of travel and contradictory answers on his travel dates.” Continue reading

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

R. v. Chehil, 2013 SCC 49

The accused, Mandeep Singh Chehil, aroused the suspicion of police when he booked a one-way overnight flight from Vancouver to Halifax, travelling alone, paying cash for his ticket at the last minute, and checking one bag. Considering all of these factors, the police developed “reasonable suspicion” that Mr. Chehil was trafficking drugs and presented his checked bag to a sniffer dog. When the dog gave a positive indication for the presence of drugs, police opened the bag and discovered three kilograms of cocaine. Continue reading

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

R. v. Aucoin, 2012 SCC 66

The Appellant had been detained for two Motor Vehicle Act offences, namely using a license plate that was not registered to his vehicle and exceeding the legal blood alcohol limit. While detained, Aucoin was subject to a search which resulted in the finding of ecstasy and cocaine. He was convicted of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. Continue reading

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

R. v. Cole, 2012 SCC 53

The accused was a high school teacher who was allowed to use a school-owned laptop computer for personal use. A technician tasked with maintaining the computer on behalf of the school discovered nude photographs of an underage female student on the hard drive. He turned the computer over to the school principal who subsequently turned it over to police. The issue was whether the accused had a reasonable expectation of privacy in regard to the contents of the laptop, whether his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure had been infringed, and whether the evidence should be excluded under Section 24(2) of the Charter. Continue reading

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

R. v. Bacon, 2012 BCCA 323

This decision involved analysis of the principles articulated in R. v. Grant, and their application to a suspected gang leader whose vehicle proved to contain a number of prohibited and restricted firearms. Continue reading

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

Vancouver (City) v. Ward, 2010 SCC 27

Vancouver lawyer, Alan Cameron Ward, sued the police for violating his right to be free from unlawful search and seizure, pursuant to Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. At issue in the Supreme Court of Canada were the circumstances in which a court can order monetary damages as compensation for a Charter breach. Continue reading

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

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. Kang-Brown, 2008 SCC 18

In a complex and divided decision, the Supreme Court of Canada considered the constitutionality of using sniffer dogs to confirm a police officer’s suspicion that a suspect is in possession of narcotics. Continue reading

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

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