Section 24(1) of the Charter
This section gives the person whose rights are being infringed or denied a method for enforcing his or her rights. The first part of section 24 says that when someone’s Charter rights are violated that person can apply to a court for an appropriate remedy. The burden would be on the individual to prove that a violation of his or her rights has actually occurred. Once this is established, the government might wish to justify the violation of the right by arguing it is a reasonable limit under the terms of section 1 of the Charter. After that is accomplished the court has a wide discretion to decide what sort of relief to give. In a criminal case, the court might order a stay of proceedings (when a law suit is suspended). If the government caused financial loss through a violation of a Charter right, the court might order the government to reimburse the individual.
Section 24(2) of the Charter
This section allows courts to exclude evidence that has been obtained as a result of a violation of a Charter right. This is quite a powerful remedy and is especially useful in the criminal courts. For example, section 10(b) of the Charter guarantees those who have been arrested the right to “retain and instruct counsel.” If someone is arrested but is never given the opportunity to phone a lawyer, even though the person has asked for one, then their 10(b) rights have been violated. If they then give statements to the police, it may be possible to have those statements excluded under section 24(2). In many cases, once the evidence is excluded the Crown is unable to prove the offence and the accused may be acquitted. The courts will look at a number of things to decide whether or not evidence obtained in violation of the Charter should be excluded. The essential question is whether or not the admission of such evidence would bring the administration of justice into disrepute—would the general public lose faith in the justice system if the evidence was allowed in. Some factors that might be examined are whether or not the police intended to violate the person’s Charter rights. The seriousness of the infringement and the way the police obtained the evidence might also be examined.