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R v Caslake, [1998] 1 S.C.R 51


Police officer saw a vehicle on the side of the road. He thought he may have been hunting and questioned him, defendant said he was just peeing. After defendant left police went back found a large back of weed. He then pursued the vehicle and overtook him. Backup came and took custody of the appellant. After the arrest, police searched his car (with no warrant) and found more drugs. They say the search was required by the RCMP policy.
Defendant claims search of his was no reasonable under s. 8 of the Charter.


Was the search of the car unreasonable with s.8 of the Charter?


A search must be truly incidental to the arrest for it to be authorized by law.


Limit on the power to search incident to arrest (Cloutier Test)
*Police in position to assess whether the circumstances justify a search
*Search must be for valid objective - Threat to accused, public, or people; Or to avoid escape, or to obtain evidence are all situations where a search incident to arrest is lawful
*Search must not be conducted in an abusive manner.

The fact that this search was not, in the mind of the searching party, consistent with the proper purposes of search incident to arrest = it falls outside the scope of the common law power.


The search was not authorized by law – does not allow you to do an inventory search


Collins test
1. Authorized by law?
2. Law reasonable?
3. Reasonable search?

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