SUPREME COURT ASKED TO CLARIFY RULING ON

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  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    SUPREME COURT ASKED TO CLARIFY RULING ON POLICE SEARCHES

    WINNIPEG - In a rare move, the federal prosecutor has asked the
    Supreme Court to clarify a ruling made earlier this year concerning a
    Winnipeg man whose pockets were searched by police.

    Earlier this summer, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Philip Henry
    Mann, who was searched by Winnipeg police. The court ruled individuals
    must have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including privacy over
    what's in their pockets.

    Police said Mann matched the description of a break-and-enter suspect.
    After feeling a soft object in Mann's pocket during a pat-down search,
    officers pulled a bag of marijuana out of his pocket.

    The Supreme Court upheld a Manitoba court's ruling to acquit Mann,
    saying that reaching into Mann's pocket was "problematic" because the
    soft object didn't pose a security risk to the officer.

    Federal Crown prosecutor David Frankel has asked the Supreme Court to
    re-examine parts of the Mann case, saying the court's definitions were
    vague.

    "It should be clearly spelled out so that police forces can instruct
    their officers accordingly, and the public also knows when they
    interact with the police what the limits of police powers are," he
    says.

    Mann's lawyer, Amanda Sansregret, has already filed her objection to
    the review. She thought the matter was settled.

    "This isn't an appropriate case for a re-hearing," she says. "There is
    no reason to clarify the reasons for judgement. The reasons for
    judgement are as clear as a bell."

    The Mann ruling has already been cited twice in cases across the
    country in limiting how the police can search people.

    The Supreme Court will examine the application for the review later
    this fall.