Hunter v Southam Case

Hunter v Southam Case Acting under the authority of s10 of the Combines Investigation Act, the director of the Investigation of the Combines Branch authorized several civil servants to enter the offices of Southam Inc in Edmonton.

Hunter v Southam Case Acting under the authority of s10 of the Combines Investigation Act, the director of the Investigation of the Combines Branch authorized several civil servants to enter the offices of Southam Inc in Edmonton. The company claimed that subsections 1 and 3 of s10 of that Act were incompatible with s8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states "Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure." On 17 Sept 1984 the Supreme Court of Canada declared that in the first place warrantless searches are on the face of it unreasonable under s8 of the Charter. The individual who wishes to justify a warrantless search must rebut the presumption of the unreasonable nature of that search. On the merits of the case, the Supreme Court came to the conclusion that subsections 10(1) and 10(3) of the Combines Investigation Act are "inconsistent with the Charter and of no force and effect, as much for their failure to specify an appropriate standard for the issuance of warrants as for their designation of an improper arbiter to issue them" (Chief Justice Dickson). The Supreme Court added that the person who authorizes the search must be in a position to appreciate, in an entirely neutral and impartial fashion, the opposing rights of the state and the individual.