Stop and Check your Bag Sir!
What is Unreasonable Search and Seizure: Criminal Code of Canada
Search or Seizure
Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms reads as follows:
s.8 - Search or Seizure - Everyone has the right to be secured against unreasonable search or seizure.
In other words, Canadian law protects everyone from being subjected to unreasonable searches by the
police, security guards or other persons in a position of authority.
The same law also protects us against having our personal property seized, or taken from us, without
Detention or Imprisonment
Section 9 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms reads as follows:
s.9 - Arbitrary Detention - Everyone has the not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned. In other words,
Canadian law protects everyone from being detained (held against your will) or placed in prison without
What if I have been unreasonable detained or searched?
Section 24(2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms reads as follows:
s.24(2)- Where, in proceedings under subsection (1), a court concludes that evidence was obtained in a
manner that infringed or denied any rights or freedoms guaranteed by this Charter, the evidence shall be
excluded if it is established that, having regard to all the circumstances, the admission of it in the
proceedings would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.
What does it all mean?
If your right to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure or your right not to be unreasonably
detained has been violated, the court may exclude (throw out) any evidence that the police or a person in
authority have obtained through their unreasonable search and seizure or detention.
Section 11. Any person charged with an offense has the right...
(d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an
independent and impartial tribunal.
Although this is one very important legal right that every Canadian citizen has under the Charter, in reality
and in the world of the individual charged, it does not always feel that way. It may feel like you have been
found guilty as soon as you are accused of am offense. Sometimes people lose their jobs, their spouse,
children and friends after being charged with a criminal offense.
More often than not, the person's life is put on hold until the eventual outcome of their case. The process is
slow; it will take months or years from the date a person is charged until the final outcome of the matter.