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Analysis: R V. Harrison Case

2231 words - 9 pages

The Ontario Provincial Police serve the province of Ontario in many functions, including the safety of traffic (Ontario Provincial Police , 2009). The safety of traffic is essential for a secure society; however when a law enforcement member deviates from legislated policing practices causing an unjustified accusation of a civilian, are the people of the Province of Ontario any safer? This issue can be examined in the case of R. v. Harrison, as Constable Bertoncello of the Ontario Provincial Police conducted a traffic stop of Bradley Harrison, which was not justified. Harrison was pulled over for only having a rear licence plate, however the vehicle was registered in the province of Alberta, making this vehicle legal (R. v. Harrison, 2009). The police officer justified his actions to the Supreme Court of Canada by insisting on the importance of upholding police integrity in the public mind, and this regular traffic stop resulted in a search and seizure of cocaine and a charge of driving with a suspended licence. (R. v. Harrison, 2009).This was not sufficient reasoning for Bertoncello’s actions according to the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada. An examination of the evidence presented before the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of R. v. Harrison, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms violations, precedent cases, and investigative police procedures along with legal proceedings will rationalize the ruling of the court for excluding narcotic paraphernalia for trafficking indictment.
Charter Violations:
Certain rights for every member of Canadian society were violated against Bradley Harrison by Constable Bertoncello. Section 24(2) in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms outline bringing the administration of justice into disrepute (Constitution Act, 1982, 1982; Goff, 2011; Marques, Criminal Law & Criminal Justice in Canada [Lecture], 2013). This section allows the defence in a trial to raise the concern of prohibiting the wrongful obtainment of evidence from being used in a court of law when determining the verdict (Goff, 2011). According to the Honourable Beverley McLachlin, this concern is in relation to the unauthorized obtainment of the thirty-five kilograms of cocaine found in Harrison’s rented Dodge Durango (R. v. Harrison, 2009). It is imperative to understand that the cocaine would not have been obtained by the constable given the manner in which Mr. Harrison was driving. He was not driving carelessly, thus not raising a threat to the security of road safety despite his suspended licence. Constable Bertoncello should have contacted dispatch if he was suspicious, and requested more information on the vehicle. In addition, the violation of section 8, the unreasonable search and seizure of a person under Legal Rights of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Constitution Act, 1982, 1982; Goff, 2011; Marques, Criminal Law & Criminal Justice in Canada [Lecture], 2013) applies to this case. Constable Bertoncello...

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