Home > Legal Buzz > No Miranda rights in Canada, eh?

No Miranda rights in Canada, eh?

So what the heck are Miranda rights anyway?

In 1966, the USSC decided the case of Miranda v. Arizona. The court held that when a person is taken into police custody, before being questioned he or she must be told of the Fifth Amendment (Canadian Charter Rights and Freedoms Section 11(c) ) right not to make any self-incriminating statements. Post-Miranda, anyone in police custody must be told four things before being questioned:

  1. You have the right to remain silent.
  2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
  3. You have the right to an attorney.
  4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.

Read the decision here: Miranda v. Arizona.

When a police officer questions a suspect in custody without first giving the Miranda warning, any statement or confession made is presumed to be involuntary. It cannot be used against the accused in any criminal case. Evidence discovered as a result of that statement or confession will likely also be suppressed.

Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada has refused to import the Miranda rights concept into Canada. Chief Justice Beverley McLaughlin, writing for the majority in a 5-4 split court said:

We are not persuaded that the Miranda rule should be transplanted in Canadian soil, 

While the police must be respectful of an individual’s Charter rights, a rule that would require the police to automatically retreat upon a detainee stating that he or she has nothing to say would not strike the proper balance between the public interest in the investigation of crimes and the suspect’s interest in being left alone
Justices Louis LeBel and Morris Fish, writing a biting dissent for the minority, warned that the majority ruling
“carries significant and unacceptable consequences for the administration of criminal justice and the constitutional rights of detainees in this country.”
Check out the story here.
Categories: Legal Buzz
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