R. v. A.M.,
Zain Iqbal, Amy Ramsundar
Summary of the Case
In 2006, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the police officers had lead an unreasonable search and seizure when they entered a high school with a sniffer dog and conducted a random and warrant-less search for drugs. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, and the court ruled that completely random drug searches violate privacy rights.
Connections to the Charter:
The Canadian government stresses the importance of instilling equality and privacy into the lives of citizens by entrenching laws into the Constitution that promote privacy, such as section 8 of the Charter which states: “Everyone has the right to be secure against an unreasonable search and seizure.” This right prevents individuals from being discriminated and unlawfully persecuted. This right also ensures that searches must be justifiable with a legal suspicion. Despite the fact that the police confiscated illegal substances, the manner in which they were attained was unlawful as it invaded many students’ privacy and there were no warrants provided at the scene of the investigation.
Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides citizens the right to life, liberty and security, essentially preventing persecutions based of suspicions and judgement's. The police officers did not regard this law and based their search off personal suspicions which is deemed highly discriminatory against the school and its rightful individuals. The fact that these officer’s searched multiple student’s lockers without any sort of consent and justification and this demotes the ideology of privacy and equality. This is the very embodiment of what the Canadian Government meant in section 8 “Everyone has the right to be secure against an unreasonable search and seizure”.
A search warrant
Police must have a good reason for searching your home and possessions.
There are few exceptions where police officers will not require a warrant but this case did not show any exceptions.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms