Come on Mann Don’t Search Me! A Case Comment on R. v. C.J.F.


  • Michael A. Johnston



In Mann the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that the police have the power to detain individuals, albeit briefly, for investigative purposes. The Court also supplemented this power with the power to conduct protective searches incident to these investigative detentions (PSIIDs). While the Court made it clear that the power to conduct these searches was not incident to every investigative detention, this power should, nevertheless, be regarded dubiously. The conditions required to conduct a PSIID are lower than those required for a peace officer to make an arrest without a warrant under s. 495 of the Criminal Code for violations of ss. 884 or 905 of the Code. Allowing the police to wield both of these weapons against “crime” augments police power to engage in warrantless searches, and concomitantly decreases individual rights. The recent decision of the Saskatchewan Provincial Court, Youth Justice Court, in C.J.F., illustrates the corrosive effect that Mann and its PSIIDs can have “on the right of individuals to walk the streets free from state interference.” C.J.F. challenges us to ensure that Mann is being properly applied, but it also challenges us to understand the effect of having PSIIDs.






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