R. v. Sanelli, Duarte and Fasciano, (1990) 103 N.R. 86 (SCC)

JudgeDickson, C.J.C., Lamer, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier and McLachlin, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateJanuary 25, 1990
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1990), 103 N.R. 86 (SCC);1990 CanLII 150 (SCC);53 CCC (3d) 1;[1990] SCJ No 2 (QL);103 NR 86;9 WCB (2d) 230;45 CRR 278;JE 90-263;37 OAC 322;74 CR (3d) 281;71 OR (2d) 575;[1990] 1 SCR 30;65 DLR (4th) 240;[1990] CarswellOnt 77

R. v. Sanelli (1990), 103 N.R. 86 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

.........................

Mario Duarte v. R.

(20542)

Indexed As: R. v. Sanelli, Duarte and Fasciano

Supreme Court of Canada

Dickson, C.J.C., Lamer, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier and McLachlin, JJ.

January 25, 1990.

Summary:

The accused was charged with narcotic offences on the basis of taped conversations he had with a police informer and an undercover police officer, both of whom were aware of the surveillance. The Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, s. 178.11(2)(a), provided that the penal prohibition against the interception of private communications did not apply where one of the parties to the communication consented to its interception. The accused pleaded that such so-called participant surveillance constituted an unreasonable search and seizure under s. 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The trial judge held that s. 178.11(2)(a) violated s. 8 of the Charter. The Crown appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in a judgment reported 22 O.A.C. 311; 161 O.R.(2d) 385; 38 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 60 C.R.(3d) 142; 33 C.R.R. 360, allowed the appeal and held that s. 178.11(2)(a) did not violate s. 8. The accused appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal. The court held that s. 178.11(2)(a) did not infringe or deny the rights and freedoms guaranteed by s. 8 of the Charter, but that participant surveillance without a warrant constituted an unreasonable search and seizure contrary to s. 8 of the Charter. The court held, however, that evidence of the interception of the accused's communications was admissible, where the police acted in a good faith belief that the surveillance was lawful and where they could have obtained judicial authorization.

Civil Rights - Topic 1217

Security of the person - Lawful and reasonable search - Unreasonable search and seizure - What constitutes - Participant surveillance - The Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, s. 178.11(2)(a), provided that the penal prohibition against the interception of private communications did not apply where a party to the communication consented to its interception (participant surveillance) - The Supreme Court of Canada held that participant surveillance without a warrant constituted an unreasonable search and seizure contrary to s. 8 of the Charter - See paragraphs 1 to 48 - The court held, however, that evidence of such an intercepted communication was admissible, where the police acted in a good faith belief that the interception was lawful and where they could have obtained judicial authority - See paragraphs 51 to 55.

Civil Rights - Topic 8368

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of rights - Remedies - Exclusion of evidence - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1217 above].

Civil Rights - Topic 8469

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Interpretation - United States experience - The Supreme Court of Canada, in determining that the interception without a warrant of private communications with the consent of one of the parties violated s. 8 of the Charter, considered United States Supreme Court and state court of appeal cases - See paragraphs 7, 10, 22, 33 to 40.

Courts - Topic 103

Stare decisis - Authority of judicial decisions - English and American authorities - American decisions - [See Civil Rights - Topic 8469 above].

Criminal Law - Topic 5296

Evidence - Witnesses - Inadmissible private communications - Admissible interceptions - Consent of recipient - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1217 above].

Cases Noticed:

Katz v. United States (1967), 389 U.S. 347, consd. [para. 7].

United States v. White (1971), 401 U.S. 745, consd. [para. 10].

Lopez v. United States (1963), 373 U.S. 427, consd. [para. 12].

R. v. Finlay and Grellette (1985), 11 O.A.C. 279; 23 C.C.C.(3d) 48, appld. [para. 18].

R. v. Wong (1987), 19 O.A.C. 365; 34 C.C.C.(3d) 51, appld. [para. 18].

Southam Inc. v. Hunter, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 145; 55 N.R. 241; 55 A.R. 291; 33 Alta. L.R.(2d) 193; 9 C.R.R. 355; 14 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 11 D.L.R.(4th) 641; 2 C.P.R.(2d) 1; [1984] 6 W.W.R. 577; 41 C.R.(3d) 97; 84 D.T.C. 6467, consd. [para. 19].

R. v. Dyment, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 417; 89 N.R. 249; 73 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 13; 229 A.P.R. 13, consd. [para. 19].

State v. Glass (1978), 583 P. 2d 872, consd. [para. 34].

Holmes v. Burr (1973), 486 F. 2d 55, consd. [para. 34].

Commonwealth v. Schaeffer (1987), 536 A. 2d 354, consd. [para. 36].

Commonwealth v. Thorpe (1981), 424 N.E. 2d 250, consd. [para. 38].

Millar v. Taylor (1769), 4 Burr. 2303; 98 E.R. 201, consd. [para. 41].

R. v. Collins, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 265; 74 N.R. 276; 56 C.R.(3d) 193; [1987] 3 W.W.R. 699; 33 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 28 C.R.R. 122; 13 B.C.L.R.(2d) 1, consd. [para. 54].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 8.

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, sect. 178.11(1) [para. 9]; sect. 178.11(2)(a) [para. 11]; sect. 178.16(1) [para. 51].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Canada, Law Reform Commission, Electronic Surveillance, p. 10 [para. 8].

Carr, James, The Law of Electronic Surveillance, pp. 3-61 [para. 8]; 362 [para. 10].

Counsel:

Alan D. Gold, for the appellant accused;

R.W. Hubbard, for the respondent Crown;

Jeff Casey, for the intervenor Attorney General for Ontario;

Jean-François Dionne, for the intervenor Attorney General of Quebec.

Solicitors of Record:

Gold & Fuerst, Toronto, Ontario, for the appellant;

John C. Tait, Ottawa, Ontario, for the respondent;

Attorney General of Quebec, Sainte-Foy, Quebec, for the intervenor Attorney General of Quebec;

Attorney General for Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, for the Attorney General for Ontario.

This case was heard on October 4 and 5, 1989 at Ottawa, Ontario, before Dickson, C.J.C., Lamer, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier and McLachlin, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On January 25, 1990, the judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered in both official languages and the following opinions were filed:

La Forest, J. (Dickson, C.J.C., L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier and McLachlin, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 57;

Lamer, J. - see paragraphs 58 to 59.

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