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R. Vs Oakes Case And Reasonable Limits Clause

898 words - 4 pages

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is an important document that allows us to live our lives without arbitrary governmental control, although there may be certain times when rights should be limited. The R. v Oakes case is a perfect example of this situation coming into play. David Edwin Oakes was caught with an unlawful possession of hash oil and was automatically convicted of trafficking, under section 8 of the Narcotic Control Act. By looking at the Charter, it was clear that section 8 of the NCA violated his right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, guaranteed in section 11.d. With that in mind, the respondent brought in a motion that challenged section 8 of the Narcotic Control Act. Since the Supreme Court and the Crown were confident that the suspect was trafficking narcotics, they created a four criteria ruling, in order to reasonably limit the rights of the respondent. This is permissible under section 1 of the Charter, which states that “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms…only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law.”2 The respondent’s case passed the first criterion which stated that “the reasoning for limiting the Charter must be proven important enough to override a constitutionally protected right.” The case did not pass the second criterion which stated that “there must be an appropriate connection between the limitation of rights and the objective of the legislation.”2 Therefore, the appeal was dismissed and the respondent was released. After reviewing the case it was clear that even though the suspect did not have his rights limited against him, limiting rights should be used more often in severe cases.
One reason why it is justifiable to limit someone’s Charter rights is because of the contents expressed in section 1 of the Charter. This part of the charter as stated previously, “guarantees the rights and freedoms expressed, only subjected to reasonable limits prescribed by law.” In easy terms, this section guarantees the rights and freedoms expressed in the Charter, but only to a certain degree. In relation to this particular case, David Oakes was convicted of trafficking narcotics and he had to prove his innocence. Since the Supreme Court had a reasonable idea that he was trafficking it was justifiable to limit his right to presumption of innocence, stated in section 11.d of the Charter. In other cases, section 1 of the charter can also assure that no one takes advantage of their charter rights to; for example, bring hate upon individuals and other religions. It basically creates a situation where no one can take advantage of their...

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