R. v. Mann

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R. v. Mann, 3 S.C.R. 59, 2004 SCC 52, is a leading constitutional decision by the Supreme Court of Canada on the limits of police powers for search and seizure. The Court found that police have a right to detain someone for investigation but do not have the right to search them beyond searching for concealed weapons. In this case, a suspect's section 8 rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms were violated when a police officer stopped him on the street and searched his pockets finding marijuana on his possession.


On December 23, 2000, in Winnipeg at around midnight, two police officers responded to a break and enter. While searching the neighbourhood, they spotted a young man matching the description of the suspect. He was described as a 21 year-old, 5 foot 8, Aboriginal male in a black jacket. The officers stopped the man, asked him some questions, and then gave him a pat-down. When patting the man down, the officer noticed a soft object in one of his pockets. The officer reached in and pulled out a bag containing 27 grams of marijuana.

The young man was arrested and cautioned for possession for the purposes of trafficking under section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

At trial the judge found that the search violated section 8 of the Charter and that the bag must be excluded from evidence as it would interfere with the fairness of justice under section 24 of the Charter. The judge found that the pat-down was reason for...
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