Top Five 2009: R v Harrison
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.
R v Harrison, 2009 SCC 34,  2 SCR 494
In a decision rendered concurrently with R v Grant, 2009 SCC 32, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) applied the new analysis for excluding evidence under s. 24(2) of the Charter to determine if evidence of cocaine trafficking should be excluded. In this case, 35 kg of cocaine were obtained in contravention of the Charter. The police officer that found the drugs had no reasonable grounds to stop or search the car where the drugs were stored. In applying the Grant test, the SCC excluded the cocaine evidence because by stopping and searching the car, the police officer willfully and flagrantly disregarded Charter rights. The full decision is available here.
Key Words: Criminal Law – Constitutional Law – Charter of Rights and Freedoms – s.8 – Search and Seizure – Cocaine – Evidence