The Canadian Charter and Criminal Justice
In Nathalie Des Rosiers, Patrick Macklem, & Peter Oliver, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution (Oxford: Oxford University Press) (Forthcoming)
24 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 16, 2016
This chapter analyses the pervasive impact of the Charter on the Canadian criminal justice system. Active judicial interpretation of Charter rights has put in place distinctive constitutional standards of substantive law, including those of fault and struck down oppressive laws for arbitrariness and overbreadth. Also examined are new standards for police powers to stop, detain and arrest, fair trial rights such as the duty of full Crown disclosure and for sentencing. The article describes and welcomes a robust exclusionary discretion for evidence obtained in violation of the Charter. It is suggested that the Canadian Charter standards are no panacea and are sometimes too weak but that they have often provided a welcome balance to the expedient lure of law and order politics.
Keywords: new standards, fault, arbitrariness, overbreadth, police powers, fair trial, sentencing, exclusionary discretion, no panacea, welcome balance
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