Dec. 22, 2011 - Jurisdiction

In R. v. Dell, 2005 ABCA 246 Dell claimed that when a bouncer detained him he had violated the Charter. Here are snippets of the courts findings:

6). Although s. 32 of the Charter limits its application to Parliament, legislatures and provincial and federal governments, when the Charter was first introduced there was some debate about its application. Since that time, the law has been settled that, as a general rule, the Charter only applies to government actions, not interactions between private citizens or institutionsSchreiber v. Canada (Attorney General), 1998 CanLII 828 (SCC), [1998] 1 S.C.R. 841 at para. 27; McKinney v. University of Guelph1990 CanLII 60 (SCC), [1990] 3 S.C.R. 229 at para. 182…

7). Buhaysupra, recognized two exceptions to the general rule that the Charter does not apply to interactions between private citizens. The first is when a private citizen acts as an agent of the stateBuhay at para. 25 citing R. v. Broyles1991 CanLII 15 (SCC), [1991] 3 S.C.R. 595. The agent of the state analysis requires an examination of the relationship between the state and the private individual alleged to have acted as an agent of the state…

8).  The second exception to the general rule that the Charter does not apply between private individuals occurs when a private person can be categorized as “part of government” because he or she is performing a specific government functionBuhay at para. 25, citing Eldridge v. British Columbia (Attorney General)1997 CanLII 327 (SCC), [1997] 3 S.C.R. 624. In Eldridge, at para. 43, the Court noted that the Charter will only apply to a private entity if it is found to be implementing a specific governmental policy or program. The Court in Buhay, at para. 31, observed that this exception would apply if there were an express delegation of a public function to a private person or if the state were to abandon, in whole or in part, an essential public function to the private sector. 

These rules clearly state that government does not have jurisdiction in the private affairs of individuals or the private interactions of individuals—so long as these interactions or contracts do no harm or injury. 

Government has jurisdiction over the the affairs of agenda of the state. Are you an agent of the state?

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