The fundamental rights enjoyed of all Canadian’s and all those within Canadian borders are contained in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which forms of a part of the Canadian Constitution. The Charter contains democratic rights, mobility rights, legal rights, equality rights, and rights that are considered fundamental freedoms. The Charter also outlines the official languages of Canada as well as minority language educational rights. Finally, the Charter provides guidance on enforcement of the Charter, the application of the Charter, and other miscellaneous rights such as those pertaining to Aboriginal Canadians.

The rights contained in the Charter are absolute but are subject to reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society, as outlined in section 1 of the Charter. This means that an individual’s Charter right may be infringed upon where doing so is in the best interest of the public. When making this determination, courts will weigh the right of the individual with the prejudice to society that may result from the individual exercising their right. If the prejudice to society is too great, the individual’s right may be reasonably limited.

The Charter rights relevant to criminal proceedings including the following rights.

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In criminal cases, there are very strict rules governing what evidence can be used and how it can be used.


Offences in Canada are listed in the Criminal Code. They include crimes related to people, vehicles and weapons.

Criminal procedure is the process by which an accused person is arrested and brought through the justice system.

Sentencing refers to the punishment that is ordered when an individual is found guilty of a criminal offence.

An order made by a court directing the offender to do something in addition to completing their regular sentence.

Elements of an Offence

Your Rights

Criminal Records