R v Hebert Case Analysis

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Case: R v. Hebert

Facts of Case

Judges: Dickson, Robert George Brian; Lamer, Antonio; Wilson, Bertha; La Forest, Gérard V.; L'Heureux-Dubé, Claire; Sopinka, John; Gonthier, Charles Doherty; Cory, Peter deCarteret; McLachlin, Beverley

Neil Hebert was suspected of having robbed the Klondike Inn. After the police located Hebert, they placed him under arrest and informed him of his rights, and took him to the R.C.M.P detachment in Whitehorse. Hebert contacted counsel and obtained legal advice regarding his right to refuse to give a statement. After exercising his right to contact counsel, Hebert was interrogated by the police. During the interrogation, Hebert indicated that he did not desire to make a statement. In attempt to get information out of Hebert, the police placed him in a cell with an undercover officer. The officer was dressed in plain clothes and was posing as a suspect under arrest by the police. The undercover office proceeded to engage Hebert in a conversation, during which Hebert made several incriminating statements. This action violated ss. 7 and 10(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The judge excluded the statements made by Hebert to the undercover officer, and he was later acquitted of the charges. However, the Court of Appeal set aside the acquittal and ordered a new trial, concluding that the police had not violated ss. 7 and/or 10(b) of the Charter. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, concluding that the police had violated neither Hebert’s right to counsel. For the court, the right to counsel did not disqualify the police from questioning the accused in the absence of counsel after counsel had been contacted. Furthermore, the court asserted that the right to remain silent, as a fundamental principle of justice, did not prohibit the accused being questioned by undercover police officers. As such, the court set aside Hebert’s acquittal and ordered a new trial. Hebert appealed the decision to the Supreme

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