Canada — No right to lawyer during police interrogation: Supreme Court

Janice Tibbetts
OTTAWA — A deeply divided Supreme Court of Canada refused Friday to import U.S. “Miranda rights” to Canada, ruling that it would frustrate criminal investigations and slow down the justice system to impose a constitutional guarantee for suspects to have lawyers present during police interrogations.
By a 5-4 margin, the nine-member bench said that the right to counsel entails a phone call and consultation after arrest, but it does not extend to having lawyers in police interview rooms.
“We are not persuaded that the Miranda rule should be transplanted in Canadian soil,” Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Louise Charron wrote for the majority.
“While the police must be respectful of an individual’s Charter rights, a rule that would require the police to automatically retreat upon a detainee stating that he or she has nothing to say would not strike the proper balance between the public interest in the investigation of crimes and the suspect’s interest in being left alone.

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