Rights to Counsel
The right to counsel encompasses the following elements: the right to be informed of the right to counsel in a comprehensible and meaningful way, and the right to exercise the right to counsel in a meaningful and comprehensible way. Not only do you have the legal right to know you have the right to contact a lawyer, the right to speak to a lawyer in private, but additionally you must understand that conversation. Without comprehension of the informational component, you cannot meaningfully exercise your rights. Canada is a multicultural society, and for many people, English is their second language, thus accommodations may need to be made for those whose first language is not English.
Since the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 a pandemic, there has been a dramatic shift in our day-to-day lives, and how we conduct business. The situation remains fluid and thus has resulted in many industries having to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances, and the legal profession is no exception. Most of the work we undertake is done face-to-face with clients or in the courthouse. Although “legal services” have been classified as “essential work”, many law firms are now meeting with clients virtually, and working from home.
Officers maintain the ability to conduct searches of persons and their property and seize evidence. These powers infringe on the liberty of the individual. There must be a balance between the interests of the individual to be free from intrusions of the state against the state’s interest in pursuing credible tips to maintain peace and order. The Charter protects the individual’s rights against unreasonable search and seizure (S. 8).