Case Analysis : V. Barnes

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R. v. Barnes , Philip Barnes was supposedly found guilty of possession and trafficking marijuana. Contrary to this, the trial Judge found that the Investigating officer had engaged in “random virtue testing” and he granted a judicial stay for entrapment. It was stated by the Court of Appeal; Per Lamer C.J that the officer did not have a “reasonable suspicion” that Barnes was already engaged in unlawful drug activities.
In this leading case on the “buy and bust” test, it appeared that the two stage test included a reasonable suspicions that (a) the person is already engaged in an illegal activity, and (b) the physical location where the person is associated is a place where the particular criminal activity.
It could be argued that this leading case did not give a definite answer to the circumstances where the Police can employ random virtue testing during investigations.
As a general rule, it is expected that the Police should focus on uncovering criminal activity that occurs without their involvement. However, the law permits on reasonable grounds, a certain degree of entrapment in the conduct of a police officer’s investigation. This popularly called the bona fide inquiry.
In recent times, the so called Bona fide Inquiry has stretched beyond the ambit originally contemplated by most victims of this means of Investigation by the law enforcement Officers.
The aim of this Piece is to demonstrate the extent to which the Law has permitted Law enforcement
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