Cases & Decisions

R v RC [DNA samples]

Court: Supreme Court of Canada, 2005

A Nova Scotia court ordered that a young person found guilty of an assault was required to give a DNA sample. The decision was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. Justice for Children and Youth intervened in this case as a “friend of the court”. Lawyers at Justice for Children and Youth successfully argued that in deciding whether to order DNA from a young person the trial judge must take into account the underlying principles and objectives of the youth criminal justice legislation as well as those in international law. The Court stated that taking and retention of a DNA sample constitutes a grave intrusion on a person’s right to personal and informational privacy, and that Parliament in creating a separate criminal justice system for young persons, recognized their heightened vulnerability and has sought to extend enhanced procedural protections to them. The Supreme Court also stated that the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child was incorporated in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

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