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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 120778 Find in a Library
Title: Private Investigator and the Right to Privacy
Journal: Alberta Law Review  Volume:27  Issue:2  Dated:(1989)  Pages:256-301
Author(s): E F Geddes
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 46
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This analysis of the law regarding the status and powers of private investigators in Canada and the United States concludes that intrusions into people's private lives is not widespread in Canada, but that a clarification of the respective rights of investigators and subjects in this area is overdue.
Abstract: The scope and extent of an investigator's powers are largely undetermined, although cases dealing with nuisance and trespass provide some guidance. The 1982 decision in Saccone v. Orr recognized a generalized tort of invasion of privacy, as has other legislation in four provinces. However, existing Canadian case law does not provide clear guidance regarding appropriate behavior by investigators. Thus, investigators should rely on their positions as agents and on their clients' accurate assessments of their legitimate interest in a subject. In addition, relying on their voluntary professional standards of ethics could be a more effective approach than legislation as a means of balancing the rights and interests of clients and the right to privacy of those who may become the subject of such investigations. However, a statutorily created disciplinary body that could advise on penalties for ethics violations might also provide a mechanism flexible enough to balance these interests. 230 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Private investigators
Index Term(s): Canada; Legal privacy protection; Professional conduct and ethics; US/foreign comparisons
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