R. v. S.A.B: Putting self-incrimination in context

Lee Stuesser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. S.A.B. unanimously upheld the constitutionality of DNA warrants. 1 That result is not surprising. What is interesting is the route the Court chose to uphold the law. The defence presented a double-barrelled argument. First, it was argued that seizure of DNA under the warrants constituted an unreasonable search and seizure under s. 8 of the Charter. 2 Second, it was argued that by compelling an accused to provide DNA material the legislation violated the principle against self-incrimination found in s. 7 of the Charter. The Court eschewed arguments based on self-incrimination and concentrated on search and seizure as the more appropriate framework to determine the constitutionality of the legislation. In other words, the Court saw search and seizure as the primary issue and not self-incrimination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-552
Number of pages10
JournalAlberta Law Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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