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Justice Policy

Against
In the 27 years of The Charter of Rights and Freedoms history, there
have been many debates on whether the Charter provides too much
protection to an individual or not. Today, we are here to debate on a similar
topic.
We are here today to prove to you that the Charter of rights and
freedoms has not provided too much protection to the individual accused
and thus has not hampered police in effective execution of their duty.
Today we will use case law and statistics in which basic rights such as
a right to know the reason for arrest, right to a counsel, right to be
presumed innocent until proven guilty, right to fair treatment and other
rights outlined in The Charter of Freedoms, have been violated by police
officers.
But first let us ask ourselves, why did these laws come into existence
and practice? What is the purpose of these laws? Why do these laws restrict
police of certain actions? For example, detaining or arresting a suspect,
proper search and seizure of the property etc.
Behind every law, there is a reason. There are reasons why laws and
policies come in to practice. If police were not corrupt?, If police performed
their duty without infringing upon the rights of individuals, rights not given
by the Charter but humanity, then these laws would not have come in
place.
After the Second World War, many countries including Canada
introduced bills of rights, except America, whose bill of rights dates back to
the 18th century. As we all know in 1982 Prime Minister Trudeau, after hard
work, introduced a bill which we all know today as The Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms. Why did Canada, along with many other countries
introduced Bill of rights? The main reason according to Peter Hogg, who is
the dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, is that the Nazi
atrocities during the Second World War brought home to people the need to
protect civil liberties. These bill of rights are in place to stop such incidents
from occurring again.
In one of his lectures Hogg said, I want to start by posing a question:
"Is the Charter of Rights a bad thing?"
Since the adoption of the Charter of Rights in 1982 there have been
66 cases in which the courts have struck down a law that was enacted
either by Parliament (43 laws) or by a provincial legislature (23 laws). It may

seem surprising that more federal laws have been struck down than
provincial laws. The reason is that the criminal law is a federal responsibility
in Canada and the criminal law is more likely to impinge on individual civil
liberties than the civil laws that are passed by the provincial legislatures.
Sometimes the old laws are more restrictive or broader of civil
liberties and new laws are required to either narrow down or broaden the
civil liberties.
It is fascinating to know that the majority of Charter cases are
challenges to the actions of the police officers, usually complaining about a
denial of the right to counsel or an unreasonable search and seizure or an
arbitrary arrest or detention.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is there to make sure that the
laws that are in place, such as search and seizure, are not infringing upon
individual rights. We all know that our homes are our castles and we dont
want anyone to come in and destroy our castles. The Charter of rights and
freedoms is there to protect our castles.
Yes it is true that there are sections within the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms that restrict police officers from carrying out certain actions.
These sections are in place to stop police from taking advantage of people
who are not well aware of their rights. Who, due to fear of police brutality
would do anything the police asks them to do. These sections are there to
protect individual from the brutality and injustice of police officers.
Lets go over some of the sections which Police officers believe are
hampering in effective execution of their duty.

Section 8 guarantees the right to be secure against unreasonable


search and seizure.

Section 9 guarantees the right not to be randomly detained or


imprisoned.

Section 10
o a) to be informed of the offence
o b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be
informed of that right.

And section 12 guarantees against cruel and unusual punishment.

All of these sections are in place to stop corrupt police practices which were
being practiced before the Charter of rights came into existence.
Now lets look at some case law in which police infringed upon
basic rights of individuals.
R. vs. Truscott. Mr. Truscott was a young boy when he was arrested by
police. Upon arrest, Mr. Truscott was denied the right to counsel and was
interrogated without the presence of his parents.
R. v. Campbell: Mr. Campbell was not informed fully of his rights under s.
10(b) of the Charter as he was not informed that he could retain and
instruct counsel without delay.
Neither was he told that he could instruct counsel.
In R. v. France, [2002] N.W.T.J. No. 36 (S.C.), police stopped a vehicle and
searched it with the accuseds consent whereupon drugs were found in a
bag in the trunk. The court found a breach of ss. 9, 10(b) and 8 of the
Charter, noting that the denial of the right to counsel triggered the s. 8
breach in that the lawfulness of the search depended on the consent of the
person detained.
We all are well aware of the Feeney Case, your house is your castle, Rodney
King: for police beating, Maan for unreasonable search and seizure of drugs.
In all of these cases, police has violated the charter of rights and freedoms
one way or another.
In the case S.H vs Constable B.S. and Sergeant S.B, it was determined that
police officers infringed upon the rights of both the mother and the
daughter be detaining them in police cruiser and not providing bath room
facilities, and food for long period of time. Police also infringed upon their
charter 10 a and b right.
We all are well aware of the movie Twelve Angry Men. What happened to
the young boy was not justice. The young boy was not given the right to
counsel along with other rights which are now guaranteed by the Charter of
rights and freedoms and other acts such as youth criminal justice act.)
Some statistics.
A survey of 2,000 Canadians in 1987 and 1999 conducted by several
academics, including Peter Russell, University of New Brunswick's Paul Howe
and the University of Toronto's Joe Fletcher, found 82 per cent of Canadians
think the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a good thing. The surveys were

published in a volume called Judicial Power and Canadian Democracy.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/features/constitution/
A poll done in February 2002 backs up these findings. The poll, conducted
for the Centre for Research and Information on Canada, found that 88 per
cent of Canadians felt the charter was good for Canada.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/features/constitution/
Some Quotes by Academics on Charter of Rights and Freedoms
"Minorities are vulnerable in a system of majority rule (and) it is desirable to
have constitutional guarrantees to protect minorities."
Peter Hogg, dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University
I don't think anyone could have predicted all of the various impacts the
Charter has had on the public consciousness of Canadians, it has really
been phenomenal. Alan Cairns

Rebuttal:
I dont know what is considered effective execution of duty by police
officers. Does it mean solving 100% of the cases even though you have
accused the wrong person? It is understandable that The Charter of Rights
and Freedoms has put some restrictions upon what police can and cannot
do but this is for the greater good of the society. We all know what power
does to people. We all know what happens when accountability factor is
taken out of the equation? Every person has the right to privacy and no one;
I mean no one, has the right to disturb their private life. Police must find
other ways to solve cases that dont infringe upon the basic rights given to
every individual in Canada by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
When people get the power under their belt, and know that they can
do whatever they want without being stopped, will do whatever they want.
i.e. just to make their life easier, would accuse an innocent person, whom
they doubt has done the criminal act but cant prove that he is the one
responsible for the crime. Police power is not a right but a privilege, which
only few are entrusted with, if you abuse it, one day you will be held
accountable
Dont look into peoples houses cause you will find many things wrong in
their house.

Police must stop looking for shortcuts. They should get used to the longer
route which is much safer and would give them positive results in the
future.
Ask the opposition this question:
If you were stopped on a highway by a police officer and he comes up
to you and arrests you on suspicion of something. Would you want him to
give you the right to councel and not question you until your lawyer has
arrived or instructed you or would you let him question you because he can
get a lot more out of you without your lawyer being present.