This case concerned the constitutionality of warrantless wiretaps conducted by police under section 184.4 of the Criminal Code. At issue was whether this emergency wiretap provision constituted an “unreasonable search and seizure” under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Section 184.4 of the Criminal Code authorizes a broad group of persons to perform highly invasive warrantless searches without judicial oversight or other accountability mechanisms.
The case was heard by the Supreme Court of Canada on November 18, 2011. The BCCLA was an intervener in the case and argued that the section was unconstitutional because it provided insufficient limits on who could use the power, for how long and how the intercepted information could be used. On April 13, 2012, the Court unanimously struck down the section, because it provides no mechanism for oversight of the police or notice to the people whose conversations were secretly intercepted.
The BCCLA is represented by Roy W. Millen, Peter W. Hogg, Q.C. and Laura Cundari of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.
Supreme Court of Canada