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The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution edited by Oliver, Peter; Macklem, Patrick; Des Rosiers, Nathalie (19th October 2017)

Part V Rights and Freedoms, B Rights and Freedoms under the Charter, Ch.38 The Charter and Criminal Justice

Don Stuart

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution

Edited By: Peter Oliver, Patrick Macklem, Nathalie Des Rosiers

This chapter analyses the pervasive impact of the Charter on the Canadian criminal justice system. Active judicial interpretation of Charter rights has put in place distinctive constitutional standards of substantive law, including those of fault, and struck down oppressive laws for arbitrariness and overbreadth. Also examined are new standards for police powers to stop, search, detain and interrogate, fair trial rights such as the duty of full Crown disclosure, and for assessing mandatory minimum sentences. This chapter describes and welcomes a robust exclusionary discretion for evidence obtained in violation of the Charter. It is suggested that the Canadian Charter standards are no panacea and are sometimes too weak but that they have often provided a welcome balance to the expedient lure of law-and-order politics.

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