Canada judge rules emergency wiretap law unconstitutional

By Kristopher A. Nelson in

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Maple Leaf JURIST – Paper Chase: Canada judge rules emergency wiretap law unconstitutional:

British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Barry Davies has ruled that Section 184.4 of the Canadian Criminal Code, which allows law enforcement officers to electronically intercept private communications in ‘exceptional circumstances’ without court authorization, is unconstitutional because it violates ‘the fundamental freedom to be free from unreasonable search and seizure’ protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Davies’ ruling, made public Monday, can be appealed to the province’s Court of Appeal. Section 184.4 allows police to intercept communications without a judge’s approval in certain emergency situations, but Davies said that the provision violates the rights of people whose communications have been intercepted.

Interesting. I didn’t see this until today.

Update: Note that in July of 2008, after the above ruling, an Ontario judge ruled the same wiretap statute listed above was constitutional. See Ontario judge gives nod to unapproved wiretaps from the Toronto Star. Thus, the legal status of the law in Canada is still unsettled on this area of law as of July 2008.