R. V. Macdonald Case Summary

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On the night of December 28th, 2009, Erin Lee MacDonald had guests over to his condominium in Halifax. The concierge, a Mister Sears, of the building received complaints because MacDonald was playing music very loud. Sears responded to them by visiting MacDonald at his unit and asking him to turn the music down. MacDonald responded aggressively, swearing at him and saying he would not turn the music down. The police were then contacted, and Constable Pierce responded to the call. Pierce and Sears went to MacDonald’s unit together, where she knocked on the door herself and ask MacDonald to stop the music or turn it down. Again, he responded aggressively with coarse language and slamming the door. Pierce’s supervisor was brought in, a Sergeant…show more content…
v. MacDonald can be viewed easily from the perspective of liberalism. When looking at the case through the lens of liberalism, one has to take into account the different aspects of the case in accordance with this legal theory. One has to pay attention to the liberty, equality, and neutrality of the case, as well as the relationship with the harm principle. In this case, MacDonald believed that his section eight Charter right had been violated by Sergeant Boyd. The Crown claimed that Boyd had the right to push a few inches into the apartment, because he was attempting to preserve the safety of himself and the others with him. All three courts that the case went through decided that MacDonald’s Charter rights had not been violated by Boyd. This was because Boyd had a justifiable reason to believe MacDonald might be a threat to public safety, and he violated the right as little as possible in that specific situation. This decision does reflect the concept of liberalism in many ways. The fact that Boyd was a police officer was not the reason MacDonald’s accusation of a Charter breach was turned down. The decision was made with logic and reason, with no regards to either person’s position in society. The judge did not automatically take the side of the police officer; he looked at all the facts of the case which reflects the need for neutrality and equality in liberalism. The harm principle can be applied to this case as well. Sergeant Boyd pushed into MacDonald’s apartment in an attempt to discover if he or anyone else was in danger. He violated MacDonald’s right in order to preserve the rights of himself, his companions, and the other tenants of the building. The harm principal dictates that this was the right decision because he was protecting the greater good. The decision making process in this case could be critiqued by liberalists because MacDonald had his right against unreasonable search violated by Boyd and then completely disregarded by the

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