The Supreme Court Rules !

As my daughters would say “The Supreme Court Rules”. And just why does the Supreme Court rule. The Supreme Court rules because the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in “R. v. A.M.” that young people do not lose their constitutional protection against “unreasonable search and seizure” under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms simply because they are in a school.

According to a CBC report:

The first case involved an unexpected police visit to St. Patrick's High School in Sarnia, Ont., in 2002. During that visit, students were confined to their classrooms as a trained police dog sniffed out backpacks in an empty gymnasium.

The dog led police to a pile of backpacks, one of which contained marijuana and magic mushrooms. A youth, identified only as A.M, was subsequently charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

But police admitted they didn't have a search warrant or any prior tip about drugs in the school. The officers had instead visited on the basis of a long-standing invitation from school officials.

In 2004, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a previous trial judge's decision to exclude the drugs as evidence and acquit the youth. The court referred to the incident as "a warrantless, random search with the entire student body held in detention."

In Friday's ruling, the Supreme Court wrote that while "a warrantless sniffer-dog search is available where reasonable suspicion is demonstrated" in this case, "the dog-sniff search was unreasonably undertaken because there was no proper justification."

The court wrote that students' backpacks "objectively command a measure of privacy."

"No doubt ordinary businessmen and businesswomen riding along on public transit or going up and down on elevators in office towers would be outraged at any suggestion that the contents of their briefcases could randomly be inspected by the police without 'reasonable suspicion' of illegality," the court wrote.
Indeed, the Supreme Court does rule. Young people are slowly gaining the recognition that they deserve the same constitutional rights as anyone else and should not be discriminated against solely because of their age.

No comments: