ALG's Samara Secter is quoted in a December 9 article in The Lawyer's Daily regarding the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Beaver. A majority of the SCC ruled that a defendant's confession to police in a homicide investigation was admissible -- despite breaches of his Charter rights -- because the police made a "fresh start" when they advised him about his rights at the police detachment. A minority of four judges held that the "fresh start" concept is unhelpful and should not be part of Canadian law on when defendants can exclude evidence for Charter breaches.
Speaking to the Lawyer's Daily, Samara called the "fresh start" concept “forgiveness to the police under another name.” She noted that the SCC majority “introduced another hurdle into what should be a flexible and purposive inquiry" about when a Charter breach justifies excluding evidence. Samara warned that the "fresh start" concept "will push remedies out of reach for some individuals whose Charter rights were breached.”
Samara and ALG's Frank Addario and Reakash Walters represented the intervenor Canadian Civil Liberties Association at the SCC in Beaver. To read their argument on the appeal, please visit the SCC website.