EXCLUSION OF EVIDENCE DEBATE – R. V. COLLINS  1 S.C.R. 265 (S.C.C.) Amy Bui Canadian and International Law FACTS - Ruby Collins has sometimes been put under surveillance by the R.C.M.P drug squad. One day, an officer approached her in a pub, took her by the throat (to prevent her from swallowing drugs that may have been contained in a condom or balloon), and puller her to the floor. While grabbing her throat, the officer announced that he was a police officer. The officer did find a balloon of heroin in Collins’ hand. ISSUE -Did the police’s grabbing Collins’ throat bring the administration of justice into disrepute? - Should the evidence found be excluded? - Did the search of Collins violated section 8 of the Charter of Freedom and Rights? ARGUMENTS (RUBY COLLINS’ PARTY) •The search was invalid and offended the section 8 (from The Charter of Freedom and Rights) guarantee of the right to be free from arbitrary search and seizure. => Ruby Collins’ rights were denied. •The officer had no reasonable grounds for believing that Collins had drugs in her mouth. • The police had no warrant. • The police grabbed Ruby’s throat without properly informing. => Ruby was not respected. • The search of the police made Ruby disrespect the justice system => the evidence they found can’t be used with respect to section 24(2). • It would bring disrepute to the justice system if the evidence found is used in court. ARGUMENTS (POLICE OFFICER’S PARTY) • The police officer was merely doing his job: he was preventing residents from using drugs. • Actions must be taken to provide safety and order to the society. • If the police should act accordingly to the warrant under any circumstances, it would bring bureaucracy to this police office system => they won’t be able to stop crimes. • The search was necessary for him to find out whether she was using drugs or not. • Ruby Collins had been put under surveillance for sometimes => there were some reasonable grounds for the police to believe there was a high possibility that Ruby Collins would use drugs again. • If he was soft on Ruby, it would send a message to everyone that they can use drugs without fearing anything. • It would bring a worse disrepute to the justice system if the evidence found is not used in court. DECISION - The court finds in favour of Ruby Collins. RATIONALE - The Court ruled that the evidence should have been excluded on the trial record as it stood and ordered a new trial, even though the offence was a serious one for which, if obtained on the basis of mere suspicion, flagrantly and seriously violated the accused’s rights. The Court must disassociate itself from this unlawful conduct on the part of the police. To sanction such conduct would more seriously harm the reputation of the justice system than to risk the acquittal of the accused at a new trial.