Report No. 271
5.8 Canada passed DNA Identification Act on June 30th, 2000 which allowed the establishment of DNA data bank and amended their criminal code. The salient features of the Act are: 1. It empowered the judges with the mechanism to order convicts to provide blood, hair samples which will be added in the bank.
2. The National Data Bank works in accordance with the guidelines of the Act and ensures that the privacy is respected.
3. The samples can be collected only for legal purposes.
4. Collecting genetic sample is legally valid when the sample is collected by health care professional.
5. A National Forensic Science Commission established to make recommendations to the Attorney General to ensure :
- Appropriate use and dissemination of DNA information.
- Accuracy, security and confidentiality of DNA information.
- The timely removal and destruction of obsolete and inaccurate DNA information.
- Measures are taken to protect privacy.
5.9 In R. v. Stillman78, the majority view of the Canadian Supreme Court had been that though unauthorised use of a person's body or bodily substances is a "compelled testimony", but if balance of probabilities demonstrate that the evidence would have been discovered by alternative non-constructive means, its admission will not render the trial unfair. In R. v S.A.B.79, the Supreme Court of Canada Upheld the Constitutional validity of DNA warrant legislation and dealt with the issue of weight to be attached to the evidence of DNA experts.