Reference s. 94(2) MVA

[1985] 2 S.C.R. 486

Facts

SCC

Reference re Motor Vehicle Act B.C. , s. 94, minimum jail absolute liability offence, drive while prohibited or suspended

Reasons

SCC

A law that has the potential to convict a person who has not really done anything wrong offends the principles of fundamental justice and, if imprisonment is available as a penalty, such a law then violates a person's right to liberty under s. 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Constitution Act, 1982, as enacted by the Canada Act, 1982, 1982 (U.K.), c. 11). ... In other words, absolute liability and imprisonment cannot be combined. ...it would be wrong to interpret the term "fundamental justice" as being synonymous with natural justice as the Attorney General of British Columbia and others have suggested. To do so would strip the protected interests of much, if not most, of their content and leave the "right" to life, liberty and security of the person in a sorely emaciated state

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