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Lecture 2

Week 2

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University of Waterloo
Legal Studies
LS 202
Susan Brophy

Week 2 Criminal Law & The Constitution Review & Background • Charter: Rights, freedoms, fairness • 1982: Constitution – no longer have to go to England. o Charter is a constitutional document • Criminal Law: protective, punitive, investigative • Balance? Between charter and criminal law o Reasonable Limits – Section 1  Subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law  Demonstrably justified in a free and democrative society  • Federal & Provincial jurisdiction  o Politics of creating offences Division of Powers • Constitution Act: 1867 – Section 91 (27) o Federal government  o Only federal parliament can enact criminal law o Most laws in Criminal Code of Canada (CC) o Federal criminal law powers interpreted broadly o Goal: Punishment • Constitution Act: 1867 – Section 92 (15) o Provinces and municipalities o Fines, penalties, imprisonment o Goal: Regulatory & Public Welfare o Most common • Provincial Powers o Regulatory licensing  o Attorney general prosecutes criminal code offences for sentencing less than two years o Probation and parole o Less focus on punishment and prohibition  Why? Provinces protecting people’s rights (pre charter)  o Charter alters division of powers 1 [Type text] R v. Big M Drug Mart [1985]  Appellant: Crown  Defendant: Big M Drug Mart  On appeal from court of appeal of Alberta Facts  Shop was open Sunday in Alberta  Crime: Violating Lords Day Act Issue  Does Lords Day Act violate charter section 2A?  Is the crime a legitimate federal power? Decision  Appeal brought by crown was dismissed  Compulsory observance infringes section 2A Reason  Inconsistence with charter, therefore it has no force  Lords Day Act was struck down  Relevance  Applied section 52 (1): Constitution is supreme law  Lords Day Act is the first law struck down by new constitutional  power Habeas Corpus • Writ: order from legal authority • Latin: “That you have the body” – can physically appear before the court • Accused criminal must be brought before the court • Purpose: o Determine legality of arrest/detention o Protect from illegal detention • Applications for writ of habeas corpus o Made in writing o Usually after conviction o Challenge legality of laws used against individual o Requirements:   Applicant must prove: deprivation of liberty  State must prove: unlawfulness of deprivation – in lawfulness  • Canadian Context o Reflected in charter section 10(C) “Everyone has the right upon detention…” — To have the validity of the detention determined by way of  habeas corpus and to be released if detention is unlawful o Under criminal code, where a right to appeal exists in law, writ is unavailable o Other historical events that led to denial of writ?  War measures act  Internment during wars: Ukrainians during world war one, and Japanese during  world war two 2 Week 2 Charter of Rights & Freedoms • Investigation o Search & Seizure  Charter: Section 8  Reasonable expectation of privacy  Diminished expectations: inmates, convicted child molesters, travelers, students,  businesses  Warrants generally required — Probable Grounds: Real Reason  3 Part Test: Admit evidence obtained in violation of section 8 — Nature of violation — How violation impacts accused’s charter interest (how bad was the  violation?) — Society’s Impact (is it better for society as a whole?) o Arbitrary Detention and Imprisonment  Charter: Section 9  Guard against arbitrary (biased) detention  Random vehicle stops are a reasonable limit  Reasonable suspicion = brief detention  Remedy: Habeas Corpus o Right to Counsel  Charter: Section 10 (b)  Right to retain / instruct counsel  Right to be informed of this right • Process o Charter & Criminal Process (Trial)  Section 11  Disclosure  Right to full
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