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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136207 Find in a Library
Title: Charter and the Criminal Process (From Criminology: A Reader's Guide, P 196-224, Jane Gladstone, Richard Ericson, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-136200)
Author(s): K Roach
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada
Sale Source: University of Toronto
Centre of Criminology
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This essay outlines three "political" stories about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and its impact.
Abstract: The Charter's legal rights, designed to protect those subject to criminal investigations or charged with crimes, play the most important role in the daily administration of justice. The broadest of the legal rights is found in s.7 which provides that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. One of the "political" stories about the Charter is that the Charter expresses progressive continuity with previous law. A second story accounts for the Charter as an agency of political conflict and change, especially at the level of symbolic politics in the public sphere. A third story characterizes the Charter as an agency of regressive continuity; far from providing for greater social equality, this story views the Charter as continuing the more general repressive function of law. This essay concludes that the symbolic conflict between crime-control and due-process values threatens to dominate public discourse about criminal justice to the exclusion of more fundamental political, economic, and social problems that produce crime and the criminal law. 104-item annotated reading list
Main Term(s): Right to Due Process
Index Term(s): Canada; Political influences; Rights of the accused
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