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Attorney General of Quebec v Luamba et al

The Province of Quebec appealed a trial decision which found that “random” traffic stops violate three essential Charter rights: s. 7 (life, liberty, and security of the person), s. 9 (freedom from arbitrary detention), and s. 15 (equality rights). The trial judge found that racial profiling is an unconscious bias that seeps into the discretion of police officers where they have unfettered discretion and inadequate statutory safeguards, as in the overrepresentation of Black people in “random” traffic stops.

The BCCLA intervened to argue that the trial judge was right to depart from the 1990 Supreme Court of Canada decision authorizing random traffic stops. That case did not address racial profiling, of which the social understanding has significantly since evolved, and s. 7 did not have the legal breadth it does now. Random traffic stops violate the liberty of racialized people to move around and maintain psychological integrity without interception based solely on race. Random traffic stops outside of a roadblock are arbitrary and not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice because they have no rational connection to improving road safety.

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