B.C.S.C. Rules Society’s Interests Outweigh the Privacy Rights of Man Charged with Serious Sex Crimes

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Raymond Law is facing 15 criminal charges, including sexual assault, sexual assault causing bodily harm, unlawfully observing or recording nudity or explicit sexual activity (voyeurism) and administering a stupefying substance with intent. In a previous ruling, the court found that the warrant obtained by the police did not extend to searching the contents of his phone.

The defence applied for the exclusion of the evidence obtained without warrant pursuant to s. 24(2) of the Charter. Madam Justice Duncan stated that the Charter breaches fell at the less serious end of the spectrum, noting that the evidence existed independently of a Charter breach and that the law regarding specific warrants for electronic devices had not changed until months after the search.

The judge noted that personal computers attract a high degree of privacy and the Crown did not contest that there was a serious breach of Mr. Law’s rights. This was weighted against the fact that the Crown would not be able to prove the bulk of its case without the evidence as the complainants were either unaware they were being recorded or had been rendered unconscious.

Madam Justice Duncan discussed how serious the allegations were, before stating that society’s interests, along with the truth-seeking function of the criminal trial process, would be better served by admitting the evidence

Read the full decision here.

This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the view of the CCLA or PBSC.