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Top Five 2005: R v Orbanski

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 Orbanski; R v Elias, [2005] 2 SCR 3, 2005 SCC 37

What are the limits on an individual’s Charter right to counsel during a roadside alcohol-screening test?  In the two cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, individuals were asked by police about their earlier alcohol consumption without being instructed of their right to consult a lawyer.  The Supreme Court wrote that while the right to counsel was infringed in these cases, these infringements were a justified limit on the right to counsel given the importance of “detecting and deterring drunk driving.” [para. 60] The full decision is available here.


Date Produced: 2005

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