Privacy in Peril
Hunter v Southam and the Drift from Reasonable Search Protections
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Landmark Cases in Canadian Law
In 1984, the Supreme Court of Canada, in Hunter v Southam, declared warrantless searches unreasonable under section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Police would henceforth require authorization based on "reasonable and probable grounds." The decision promised to protect individuals from state power, but as Richard Jochelson and David Ireland argue, post-Hunter search and seizure law took a turn away from the landmark decision. An examination of dozens of post-Hunter cases reveals that Justice Dickson's vision has been diminished in an era of heightened security and expanding police powers.