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Carleton University
LAWS 2301
Ronald Saunders

Lecture-9 Readings Accountability Mechanisms for Police and Prosecutors - p.197-217 Strategies for PoliceAccountability and Community Empowerment By Ross Hastings and R.P. Saunders there is little in either current legislation or practices which broadens the notion of police accountability beyond the assessment of the performance of individual officers and its fit with either the criminal law or other policy and procedural regulations the concept of accountability should be conceived of as a continuum involving a number of different options and approaches the first possibility is to involve the public as COMPLAINANTS in accountability processes. This has been the most popular position to date the key point here is that neither the complainant nor the general public exercise any control over the processes beyond the point of the complain, and many processes also fail the test of transparency does little or nothing to address problems at the corporate level of police service. In addition, it neglects the broader structural factors responsible for current trends in crime and disorder, and in the maintenance of the legitimacy of the police among client groups and communities the second possible is to include the public as either asADVISOR to the police or as a PARTICIPANT in the delivery of policing services. the participation of the public seems to have a beneficial impact on the quality of the contacts and relation between police and the public the third possibility Is to involve the community as a partner in the design delivery of policing services. The focus of accountability here shifts from the individual officer to the police service accountability involves giving mobilized community groups and their representatives a real and significant role within partnerships Current accountability mechanisms fail this test; they not only are unable to address the larger notions of police accountability and responsiveness but, more importantly, in appropriating the discourses of accountability they mask the real challenge which remains to be face in the next few years DOE V Metropolitan Toronto Board of Commissioners of Police and the Status of Public oversight of the Police in Canada By Scott Childs and Paul Ceyssens Doe raises several prominent issues in police oversight, the availability of damages under the Charter of Rights and a potential onerous new duty on the police to warn potential victims of crime II. FACTSAND FINDINGS In 1986, Jane Doe was attacked by a serial rapist. She sued, alleging that the two police investigators were responsible for her injuries. She also sued the chief of police, the governing body of the police force, and the board of Commissioners of Police. Since the serial rapists confined his attacks to small geographical area and an easily identifiable class of victims. Doe argued that she has become part of a narrow and distinct group of potential victims Doe claimed damages on two grounds. First, she maintained that the police were negligent in that they failed to warn her of a danger that they knew existed and also failed to protect her adequately against the danger. Secondly, she alleged the police breached her rights guaranteed under see 7 and 15 (1) of the Charter of Rights, which provide as follows: - Everyone has a right to life and security of the person - Every individual is equal before and under the law the Court rejected the evidence of the police that they did not warn women they knew to be at risk on the basis that the attacker would relocate and continue to offend the court found the police negligent in the circumstances of this case Their warning should have alerted the particular women at risk, and advised them of suggested precautions they might take to protect themselves the Court noted that the police owe a duty to prevent crime as well as a duty to protect life and property the court then went on to find that the police had breached Does Charter right Police deprived (JANE DOE) of her right to security of the person by subjecting her to the very real risk of attack by a serial rapist Likewise, on the issues of equality rights as guaranteed by s15(1) of the charter, the Court concluded as follows: -the conduct of this investigation and the failure to warn in particular, was motivated and informed by the adherence to rap myths as well as sexist stereotypical reasoning about rape the court made one award of general damages - $175,000 --- for both the negligence and violation of Jane Does charter rights, as well as other smaller awards of damages III. DOEAND RECENT TRENTS IN POLICE CIVILLIABILITY the past ten to 15 years have seen dramatic change in the legal landscape of policing in Canada . This change is evident in nearly every facet of the legalregulation of the police Indeed , the trends in civil liability can be summarized in five statements: 1. Civil actions against police have significantly increased in the past ten years 2. Many of the cases are unprecedented 3. Courts of law are awarding judgement against police in many important cases 4. Courts of law are making large awards of damages and costs against the police 5. Other similar cases often follow on the heels of a successful plaintiff. Doe then is one example of this trend, albeit a conspicuous example one such emerging area is negligent investigation. In a number of cases persons who have been charged by the police have sued in negligence after criminal proceedings have been disposed of in their favour. Beckstead vs. Ottawa (City). There, police charged Beckstead with two criminal offences relating to the use of an acquaintances bank card. In its judgement, the trial court allowed the claim of negligence, stating that police owed a duty to perform a careful investigation of the complaint before laying charges. 4.2 Prosecutor/Defence Given that the prosecutor is the state official charged with enforcing the crimina
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