Curfew: details on police powers released today

Curfew: details on police powers released today

The guidelines surrounding the application of the curfew by Quebec police forces, which will be specified on Thursday, must be very clear, said a professor of rights and freedoms.

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“A situation like this raises questions and there must be no vagueness for measures so infringing on rights and freedoms. It will be important for it to be extremely precise, ”says Louis-Philippe Lampron, of the Faculty of Law at Laval University.

Thursday, a press briefing will be held by the Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault, where she will explain in practice what will be required of the police forces to ensure that the instructions are respected.

Already, Prime Minister François Legault confirmed on Wednesday that the recalcitrant could face fines ranging from $ 1,000 to $ 6,000. Exclusions are provided by the government in certain situations deemed “essential”, where people can waive the curfew.

However, gray areas in this regulation hardly ever seen in Quebec could allow challenges, says Professor Lampron.

“We are in an exceptional situation, which may justify exceptional measures,” he admits. As long as there are exceptions, how do you justify yourself in the face of a possibly zealous police officer who could ask questions that become an intrusion into the right to privacy? “

This is why the government will have every advantage to put in place a “very clear” procedure that the agents will have to use, he adds.

The police however have a discretionary power, which will be very important during interceptions, recalls the former police officer of the Sûreté du Québec Paul Laurier.

“There will be ‘common sense’ on the part of the policeman. The person will have to justify himself and present reasonable grounds to be outside after the authorized hours ”, underlines it.

Contacted Wednesday by The newspaper, several police forces were unable to specify how the curfew will be implemented, having not yet received the directives to this effect.

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