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Hunter v. Southam, [1984] 2 SCR 145

Issue(s):

*Challenge to search warrants issued under CIA – officials could issue search warrants under their own authority; challenged as offending s.8 of the Charter.

Ratio:

Living tree doctrine & interpretation – s.8 is meant to be interpreted as the right to privacy, or a “zone of protection” surrounding individuals.

Analysis:

• Very general language in s.8, particularly when compared with 4th amendment of US
• Constitutions are meant to endure over time since it involves the exercise of state power “living tree” adapting the needs of society over time
• Tabulated Legalism: Avoid looking at the constitution as just a checklist, interpreted in a mechanistic way
• Purpose of the Charter: to limit government action; thus, interpretations are taken from the perspective of the right-bearer


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