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Top Five 2008: Hill v Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police Services Board et al

Each year at OJEN’s Toronto Summer Law Institute, a judge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on these comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.

Hill v Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police Services Board et al, 2007 SCC 41, [2007] 3 SCR 129

In this case, the police wrongfully charged a man for committing robberies, and released his name to the media.  After his acquittal, the accused sued the police for pursing their investigation against him in a negligent manner.  The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the tort of negligent investigation exists in Canada, confirming that police owe a duty of care to suspects they are investigating.  Thus, individuals who are wrongly accused or convicted may bring a civil action against the police if an investigation is conducted negligently.  However, in this case, the accused did not prove that the police were negligent. The full decision is available here.

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