Dalhousie Law Journal


B. Richard Bell


Territorial Jurisdiction, Municipal, Regional, Police, New Brunswick, free and democratic society, citizens, liberty, certainty


In a free and democratic society, it is essential that citizens know beyond any doubt the territorial jurisdiction of police officers who may attempt to deprive them of their liberty. It is equally as important for police officers to know with certainty their territorial jurisdiction. Recent cases from the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick and the Court of Appeal reflect the uncertainty in this area of the law. Any analysis of this issue must commence with the case of Regina v. Soucy (1975) 11 N.B.R. (2d) 75 (C.A.). In Soucy, the accused had been stopped by a Rothesay police officer outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Town of Rothesay. The police officer had reasonable and probable grounds to believe Soucy had committed the offence of driving while impaired by alcohol and gave him a breathalyzer demand. Soucy refused and was charged with the offence of refusal contrary to subsection 235(2) of the Criminal Code R.S.C. 1970 c. C-34 as amended.

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