The Supreme Court of Canada declared the country’s national sex offender registry unconstitutional. Section 490.012 of Canada’s Criminal Code requires mandatory registration on a national sex offender registry, and section 490.013 requires lifetime registration for offenders convicted of two or more sexual offenses, reported Jurist. The court found the criminal statutes violate Section 7 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which provides “[e]veryone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”
The court found that because “[the statutes] require the registration, sometimes for life, of offenders who demonstrate no increased risk of reoffending, they threaten the liberty interests of offenders in a manner which is overbroad.” The court found that “75 to 80 percent [of people convicted of sex offences] never reoffend” and that “registration has a serious impact on the freedom of movement and of fundamental choices of people who are not at an increased risk of re‑offending.”
The declaration of invalidity for section 490.013(2.1) will take effect immediately, while the declaration of invalidity for section 490.012 will take effect in one year. Eugene Ndhlovu, the petitioner, was also granted an exemption from the registry.
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