One of the crucial criminal-law appeals is R v. Le, which brings up questions about the kind of privacy interests protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ Section 8. This section protects against the police’s ability to search an individual or property without a warrant. How we, as civilians, interpret our relationships with the police is greatly subjective. Understanding police relations is caused by factors such as those close to us, past experiences, gender, economic and social class, race, and age. Where there is an arbitrary detention problem under section 9 of the Canadian Charter, these subjective encounters are interpreted by a court for determining whether there was detention or not. The Canadian court case decision R v Le 2019 SCC 34 was important in understanding the police’s relationships, which are context-informed, and modify the objective assessment of the Charter’s section 9 arbitrary detention.
Tom Le, the appellant, was socializing with his friends in a townhouse’s backyard rented by one of his friends’ mother. The townhouse was situated in an area facing high-level violent crimes. That same evening, the police were out searching for two suspects (Steph, 2019). A security guard directed the police officer to the townhouse area regarding the two suspects on the run. Without a search warrant, the police officers went into the townhouse’s backyard through a fence’s opening and began asking Tom Le and his company questions. When the police officers asked Tom what he had in his bag, he bolted. A brief foot chase ensued between the police and Tom; he was then arrested. The officers search his bag and found thirteen grams of cocaine and a loaded gun.
When brought to trial, Tom argued that the officers violated his rights to be free from unreasonable search. Therefore, the found drug evidence and firearm should be excluded (Steph, 2019). The majority of the appeal court judges and the trial judge disagreed by stating that Tom’s claim to privacy was weak as a mere transient visitor in his friend’s home. Justice Lauwers, the appeal court judge, viewed things differently. He mentioned that invited presence alone is enough to bring a reasonable privacy expectation. It made no sense to give Tom’s friend, who lived in the townhouse, full protection of rights while denying Le.
Le is a critical case because it will elaborate the extent to which the Canadian Charter protects against police intrusion on the property where citizens expect the right to privacy. This is even if they lack exclusive ownership or control over the property (Steph, 2019). A decision in Tom’s favor would offer visitors in a house a measure of protection against warrantless searches. This could also indicate strengthened protections against warrantless searches for individuals staying in social, subsidized, and communal housing. The case brings out critical questions about how Charter protection can be ensured for the marginalized and racialized populations. Justice Lauwers says that he doubts that the officers would have entered a private backyard and…by the police officers. This follows behavioral psychology, stating that variations in experiences, education, socioeconomic status, and gender influence one’s response. The organizational theory states that law enforcement’s organizational structure causes police brutality. The police using excessive force is perceived as a response to disrespecting their authority. In Punishing the Racebook, Michael Tonry of the University of Michigan states that White people excuse police brutality because of the prejudice towards Blacks and other people of color (Singer et al., 2019). Disparate sentencing and media representation of Blacks brings out the idea that Blacks are inherently more lawbreakers. Studies show that Black males with darker skin tones, full lips, and big noses get longer sentences than light-skinned Eurocentric-featured counterparts.
The case of R v. Le indicates how small variations in how judges radically appreciate the case produce different effects for those involved. Most people took another approach to the issues than the majority at the court and the trial judge. Most individuals used social science evidence to support their holding that this link between Tome Le and the police was one with arbitrary detention when the officers trespassed into the backyard. In dissent, Justice Moldaver took the approach that the trial judge’s factual findings should not be disturbed and that the Canadian Charter’s breach was not severe. The citizens and police should understand the content of section 9 rights. When the analysis is accurate and is dependent on the facts, the jurisprudence can cause a confusing outcome that makes…
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