Clouds pass by the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Friday, June 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Clouds pass by the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Friday, June 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Supreme Court of Canada sides with Crown over immunity of prosecutors

Supreme Court says allowing police officers to sue Crown for misfeasance would undermine criminal justice system

The Supreme Court of Canada has ended a bid by Toronto police members to sue over the actions of Crown prosecutors that the officers say damaged their reputations.

The high court decision today comes in the case of three Toronto officers accused of assaulting two men, Randy Maharaj and Neil Singh, they arrested for robbery in 2009.

Both men alleged that the officers assaulted them during the arrests, leading to the charges against Maharaj being stayed and Singh’s conviction ultimately being set aside.

The police officers filed a lawsuit in 2016 alleging Crown attorneys failed to put forward evidence that contradicted the assault claims.

A judge struck out their claim of negligence but allowed an allegation of misfeasance in public office — knowingly engaging in unlawful conduct — to proceed, a decision upheld on appeal.

In its decision today, the Supreme Court says allowing police officers to sue the Crown for misfeasance related to prosecutors’ decision-making would undermine the integrity of the criminal justice system.

The Canadian Press

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