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Hunter V. Southam Inc
Transcript of Hunter V. Southam Inc
Cases looking at S.8
Facts of the case:
This is an important landmark Supreme court of Canada case, and is the first supreme court decision to examine and consider Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In this case, an investigation was initiated by the government under the authority of the Combines Investigation Act into Southam Newspaper. The Search was authorized prior to the enactment of the charter but the search did not commence until afterwards.
Examples of cases
September 17, 1984
Hunter V. Southam Inc
Interesting Cases looking at S.8 of the Charter
A Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruling that police can’t search a vehicle just because they smell burned marijuana will change how police conduct themselves, a lawyer says.
In December, lawyer Ron Piche successfully defended a La Loche man who was arrested after police found marijuana.
However, he beat the charge when a provincial court judge ruled the arrest and search was unreasonable.
The case went to trial, and the judge found the arrest was a violation of Janvier charter right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. The scent of marijuana indicated a suspicion that it was smoked but didn’t provide reasonable and probable grounds for an arrest or a search, the judge concluded and excluded the evidence. Janvier was declared not guilty.
The Supreme Court of Canada in 2009 threw out a drug conviction linked to a cocaine seizure worth up to $4 million because the police search "flagrantly" breached the suspect's Charter protections.
The high court ruled 6-1 to acquit Bradley Harrison of all charges.
Court throws out $4M seizure after illegal search
Marijuana Smell Not Enough to Warrant a Police Search
Bradley Harrison was driving an SUV with a friend near Kirkland Lake, Ontario. They were driving from Vancouver to Toronto. Constable Bertoncello of the Ontario Provincial Police observed that the vehicle had no front license plate, an offence if the car is registered in Ontario. Bertoncello activated his emergency lights and pulled the car over. He then realized the vehicle was registered in Alberta and was not required to have a front license plate. He was also informed by radio dispatch that the vehicle had been rented in Vancouver. At that time, Bertoncello has no grounds to believe any offence was being committed.
Nonetheless, Bertoncello was suspicious. The vehicle appeared to be "lived-in", which suggested it had been driven directly through from Vancouver. He knew that rental cars were often used by drug couriers. He knew that it was rare for drivers to drive that stretch of the road at exactly the speed limit, which Harrison had been doing. Finally, Harrison and his friend gave contradictory stories when questioned separately.
Harrison was not able to provide his driver's license upon request, saying he left it in Vancouver. A computer check by Bertoncello revealed Harrison's license was currently suspended. He then arrested Harrison for driving with a suspended driver's license.
Bertoncello then asked Harrison and his friend if there were any drugs in the car. They both replied in the negative. Other police officers arrived, and Bertoncello began to search the car.
The boxes were opened, and were found to contain cocaine. Ultimately 35 kilograms of cocaine was found in the vehicle, which was estimated to be worth $4 million!!!!
What was the decision based on?
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a document in which Section 8 of the Charter guarantees a broad and general right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures. Its purpose requires that unjustified searches be prevented. It is not enough that a determination be made, after the fact, that the search should not have been conducted. This can only be accomplished by a requirement of prior authorization.
Thank you for your attention!!!
Unreasonable Search and seizure (Section 8)
Hunter (Lawson A.W. Hunter, Director of Investigation and Research of the Combines Investigation Branch)
Turn Projector off!!
Supreme Court of Canada
The Court held the purpose of S.8
is to protect an individual's
'Reasonable Expectation of