Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

“Absent a law to the contrary, individuals are free to do as they please. By contrast, the police (and more broadly, the state) may act only to the extent that they are empowered to do so by law. The vibrancy of a democracy is apparent by how wisely it navigates through those critical junctures where state action intersects with, and threatens to impinge upon, individual liberties.”

R v Mann, 2004 SCC 52 at paragraph 15

 

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all of us in Canada from unreasonable interference by the government, including the police.  The Charter is part of our constitution and it is the supreme law of our land. Any law passed by the government and any action taken by government officials must be done in accordance with the Charter. In order to exclude the evidence, perhaps most importantly, an accused person needs lawyers who will effectively cross-examine the government officials to establish that their actions were not done in good faith.  If an individual’s Charter rights are violated, courts can grant a number of remedies, including, but not limited to: excluding evidence, stopping the prosecution, or reducing the sentence.

 

Any interaction with the government brings with it the possibility that your constitutionally guaranteed rights were violated. Our lawyers are well versed in constitutional principles.  We regularly rely on the Charter to help our clients protect their freedoms and receive the appropriate remedies for Charter breaches that occur during unlawful detentions and arrests, unlawful and unreasonable searches and seizures, and violations of the right to counsel. From the moment the government takes an adversarial approach towards a person, they require someone who will break down the transaction, analyze the legality of the government’s actions, and do the hard work necessary to obtain fair remedies for constitutional violations.

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