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Top Five 2010: R v Patrick

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 Patrick, 2009 SCC 17, [2009] 1 SCR 579

In this case, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) addressed whether a warrantless search of garbage cans located on a residential property constituted a violation of s. 8 of the Charter.   The Supreme Court held that the accused did not have a privacy interest in the contents of his garbage, and that therefore, the search of his garbage was not a violation of the Charter.  As the Court wrote, the accused’s “initial privacy interest in the evidence was abandoned when he placed the bags for collection as garbage… to which any passing member of the public had ready access.” [para. 2] The full decision is available here.


Date Produced: 2010

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