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R v Oakes, [1986] 1 SCR 103


Oakes charged with unlawful possession of narcotic for purpose of trafficking. Oakes claims s.8 of Narcotics Act violates presumption of innocence contained in s.11(d) of Charter.


Is s.8 of the Narcotic Control Act inconsistent with s.11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and thus of no force and effect?
If yes, is this violation of the Charter justified under s.1?


1. Prescribed by law?
2. Justifiable limit? – is it justified in a free and democratic society
**a. Significant Objective (Pressing and substantial objective)
***i. Object must be of sufficient importance to warrant overriding of a constitutionally protected right or freedom.
**b. Proportionality Analysis – means proportionate to objective
***i. Rational connection test: connected to the end the government seeks to achieve
***ii. Minimal infringement or least drastic means test: minimally impairs the rights in the Charter
***iii. No disproportionate effect/deleterious and salutary effect analysis: The law does not have a disproportionately severe effect on those whose rights it infringes (reworded in Degenais – deleterious and salutary effects)
****1. Must be proportionality between effects of measures and objective identified as sufficient importance


S.8 of the Narcotic Control Act violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and is therefore of no force or effect. S.8 imposes a limit of s.11(d) of the Charter which is not reasonable and not demonstrably justifiable.


Dagenais v. C.B.C 1994: Appropriate or “proportionate” balance between deleterious and salutary effects

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