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Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Saskatchewan Justice

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the Canadian constitution. It sets out the constitutionally protected rights and freedoms all Canadians enjoy.

Sometimes the court decides that a specific criminal law violates an individual’s rights or freedoms. If this happens, the court can strike the law down as inconsistent with the Charter. Sometimes it is not the law but the way it was enforced that causes it to be struck down. In both cases, a court may decide to stop the prosecution.

The court may exclude evidence if it was gathered in a way that violated the rights of an accused person.

The criminal courts examine the:

  • right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure;
  • right not to be arbitrarily detained;
  • right to a trial within a reasonable time;
  • right upon arrest to retain and instruct counsel; and
  • right to be presumed innocent of an offence until proven guilty.

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