Schreiber Case



In the Schreiber case (1998), the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada held that an order requiring the seizure of bank documents, made by the Canadian minister of justice and despatched to the Swiss authorities, did not involve the application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and did not derogate from Article 8 of the Charter. The majority was of the opinion that the Charter did not apply to a foreign government. In the case, the acts of the Swiss authorities were not subject to the Charter nor had Canada carried out the search and seizure. The minority held that Article 8 of the Charter did apply and that the seizure of bank documents without prior judicial authority deprived Schreiber of his right to privacy. "Article 8 would have very little value as a guarantee of privacy if it applied only to bar, after the fact, information obtained in an improper manner."