Police Use of Conducted Energy Weapons: A Review of the Canadian Jurisprudence


  • Vladimir A. Zaychenko PhD (Law), Samara State University; PhD Candidate (Criminology), School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University.
  • Simon N. Verdun-Jones JSD, Professor, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University.




This article analyzes the current Canadian legal framework that governs the deployment of conducted energy weapons (CEWs), such as tasers, and explores the ongoing public debate concerning its use in Canada. The tragic case of Robert Dziekanski’s death at the Vancouver International Airport raised concerns about the use of CEWs and triggered important changes in the CEW policies across Canada. Both the Kennedy and Braidwood Commission Reports have led to restrictions on the use of CEWs. In light of these reports, this article provides some insight into the nature and scope of criminal and civil litigation involving police use of the CEW. It highlights the perception of the CEW as a weapon reserved for use only in the absence of other less forceful options. This article also identifies the various grounds for bringing criminal charges and/or civil suits against individual officers, local governments, and manufacturers.