Welcome to Cases That Should Have Gone to the Supreme Court of Canada, But Didn’t! This week, lawyer Kyla Lee discusses self defense and privacy in a police station.
Acumen Law Corporation lawyer Kyla Lee gives her take on a made-in-Canada court case each week, and discusses why these cases should have been heard by Canada’s highest court: the Supreme Court of Canada.
Michel Ledoux was working for a police department and unfortunately he was being harassed by his colleagues. To stop the harassment, he set up surreptitious recording devices in various rooms throughout the police station on the basis that he could use the recordings to show that he was being harassed and defend himself. However, Ledoux’s decision to set up the recording devices amounted to intercepting private communications—a criminal offence.
Ledoux was charged, not his harassers, and at trial he argued that he had the defense of self defense—that his actions were justified in trying to prevent the ongoing abuse that he was enduring. The jury agreed with him and acquitted him of the defense, but the Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal and substituted a verdict of guilty.
The Supreme Court of Canada had a real opportunity here to help victims of harassment and workplace bullying and to say “yes”, the law of self defense can extend that far and can permit people to do things where their motivations are just. The SCC really missed the opportunity here to get in on this developing trend we have in Canada of protecting people who have been victims of abuse and it was a really poor step for them not to hear this case.
Watch the video for more.