Winning essay proposes to balance privacy rights with border searches of devices

  • September 13, 2019

The winner of the 2019 CBA Privacy and Access Law Section essay contest is Justin Roy, a third-year law student at the University of Ottawa. His submission, Unstoppable Search Meets Immovable Expectation of Privacy: Resolving Charter Tensions in Digital Device Searches at the Border, seeks to address the balance between Charter-protected privacy rights and the Canada Border Services Agency’s claim that it can search electronic devices.

Justin proposes a Charter-compliant solution that authorizes digital device searches subject to clear thresholds, and institutes independent, after-the-fact review of border officer conduct. This approach would target abusive searches and other misconduct while accommodating the unique challenges of effective border protection.

Justin is pursuing technology law. He is Dean’s Legal Research and Writing Fellow and is on the Dean’s List for academic excellence. Justin’s research interests include privacy, cybersecurity and Internet regulation. Before law school, he studied Political Science at McGill University.

Kimberly Gee, Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law, was named the runner-up in this category for her submission, Introduction to Indigenous Canadian Conceptions of Privacy: A Legal Primer.