As police officers own right to carry out an investigation on the suspect, public arise concerning on negligent investigation. In the Hill v. Hamiton-Wentworth case, Mr. Hill was accused robbery and then was proved innocent. Mr. Hill filled a lawsuit against police officers on the tort of negligent investigation, and the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Hill’s appeal. Moreover, a majority of the court recognizes there is a tort of negligent investigation in Canada, but Mr. Hill was investigated under code of care and no tort of negligent investigation during his investigation. While the argument of minority believes the tort of negligent investigation should be recognized in Canada, and the police had been negligent, the argument of minority is more compelling than majority.
Tort of Negligent Investigation
General speaking, a tort of negligence is a failure of someone or one party to follow a standard of care which means failed to do what a reasonable person do or do what a reasonable personal would not do. From the interest perspective, the tort of negligent investigation is an offence against private interest of an individual, corporation or government due to the negligent investigation. Whether a tort of negligent investigation exists in Canada is related to whether investigators owe a duty of care to person being investigated and what is the standard of care. Finally, a tort of negligent investigation only exist when there is a loss or injury to the suspect and the loss or injury was caused by the negligent investigation.
While the police officers have rights to investigate suspect, the duty of care of the officers to suspect exist and the officers were under a legal obligation to exercise care for Mr. Hill. The case indicated that there is a particular relationship between the police and a suspect under investigation, reasonable foreseeability is clearly made out because a negligent investigation may cause harm to the suspect (Hill v Hamilton, 2007). Police officers, who have authority to investigate crime suspect can easily foresee the harm caused to the suspect would be imprisoned and even more serious penalties as a result of the negligent conduct of an investigation. The minority believe that the tort of negligent investigation should not be recognized as there is a duty of care to public to ensure public safety and avoid further crime. Therefore, the duty of care to public and duty of care to suspect is conflict. First of all, the arrested suspects were not criminal during the investigation procedure, so they were part of the public as well. Secondly, negligent investigation might cause innocent people were went to jail and convicted criminal were free to commit another crime. Last but not least, the duty of care to suspect is not necessary overarching the duty of care to public.
After approved that police officers owe a duty of care to suspect, the next requirement for tort of negligent investigation is the standard...