Tom Le v. Her Majesty the Queen
(Ontario) (Criminal) (As of Right)
Constitutional law - Charter of Rights, Search and seizure (s. 8), Arbitrary detention (s. 9), Remedy - Constitutional law - Charter of Rights - Search and seizure - Arbitrary detention - Remedy - Exclusion of evidence - Whether police breached accused’s right to be free from unreasonable search or seizure - Whether police breached accused’s right to be free from arbitrary detention - Whether breaches of accused’s rights warrant exclusion of evidence - Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, ss. 8, 9, 24(2).
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The appellant was charged with several firearm and drug-related offences. At trial, he argued that the police, in the events immediately preceding his arrest and the seizure of a gun, cocaine and cash, violated his constitutional rights to be free from arbitrary detention and unreasonable search and that the evidence should be excluded under s. 24(2) of the Charter. The trial judge found that the police had not violated the appellant’s Charter rights and that, if there was any Charter violation, the evidence should not be excluded. The appellant was convicted of all of the charges. He appealed his convictions on the basis of the Charter arguments made at trial. The majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. Lauwers J.A., dissenting, would have allowed the appeal, excluded the evidence, quashed the convictions and directed that verdicts of acquittal be entered. He was of the view that the appellant’s Charter rights were breached by the police and that the admission of the items seized from the appellant as evidence at his trial would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.
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