Assessing Trends in the Application of the Exclusionary Rule at the Provincial Appellate Level: Retrenchment of Rights at the O. C. A.

Hirschorn, Jessica
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University of Guelph

Although debates surrounding the exclusionary rule are as old (indeed, older) than the rule itself, the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Grant has renewed debates over the principle and application of the rule. This thesis empirically assesses trends in the admission of improperly obtained evidence at the Ontario Court of Appeal (O.C.A.) with the aim of drawing some preliminary conclusions about the nature of judicial decision-making. Utilizing all O.C.A. cases involving consideration of s. 24(2) from the enactment of the Charter in 1982 to December 31st 2010, this study aims to reveal and understand trends in the exclusion of evidence in terms of the characteristics of the evidence, type of rights found to be violated, individual judicial characteristics and deference to lower courts while paying particular attention to the effect of precedent on the outcome.

Law, Criminology