“I forgot” – no excuse for infringing an accused’s right to counsel

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An innocent omission, a slip of the mind, an honest mistake of an arresting police officer is not sufficient to prevent the Court from excluding evidence obtained following a violation of an accused person’s right to counsel. Last Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada reinforced that right and determined that, notwithstanding the inadvertent nature of the police’s behaviour, the correct remedy was to exclude the evidence subsequently obtained.

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