Two in-depth comments on the sniffer dog cases worth reading

Case analysis takes time, and my aim with this blog is typically to limited to posting case reports as timely and accurate news, and in a way that situates cases in their practical context. I also write predominantly for our base of institutional clients, who tend to want the bottom line and (surprise) represent institutional interests.

I blogged about the basic meaning of the Supreme Court of Canada’s sniffer dog cases last week. While I met my measure of success, two superior comments have been published this week by academics that you should read if you’re interested in going deeper into their subject matter.

James Stribopolous, an Osgoode Hall professor, situates the case in the context of the evolving law on ancillary police powers. Ian Kerr, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology, focuses on the other key aspect of the judgements – the search aspect. He’s critical of the outcome of the cases for their “reductionist” approach to assigning value to the information captured by a dog sniff – an approach which led the majority to a lesser standard for legality than “reasonable cause” and an approach that Mr. Kerr feels raises the spectre of increased surveillance by law enforcement based on new technologies.


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