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不懂警察英语提示 新移民指控警察违宪
Non-English speaker accused officers of breaching charter rights

“你有权保持沉默。你有权请律师并可以与你所找的任何律师商谈。”加拿大权利宪章要求警方就可能的控罪及律师权等问题对嫌犯进行口头提示和警告,以为面临警方调查和拘捕的个人提供一系列保护。

 “You have the right to remain silence. You are given rights to a lawyer and you can speak to any lawyer you wish.”  The Canadian charter of rights requires that the police verbally deliver caution to a suspect that ranges from possible charges to rights to counsel, providing a series of protections to individuals facing police investigation and detention.


在嫌犯似乎存在语言障碍并因此无法理解警方的语意时,警员必须采取措施确保嫌犯了解其律师权。嫌犯无法充分理解警方的警告已经引发诸多关注,因为这有可能导致他们向警方所作的陈述证据不被法庭采信。但是,一些母语非英语人士可能会利用宪章中的保护条款先发制人,声称是语言障碍妨碍他们理解警方有关律师权的提示和其他警告。

Police officers are required to take steps to ensure that the suspect understand his rights to counsel, when it appears that language barriers may exist preventing suspect from comprehending the police sentences. Suspect’s lack of understanding of the police caution raises a flag, which may result in their statements obtained by the police inadmissible in court. However, some non-native English speakers may take advantage of charter protections, claiming that the existence of language barriers have prevented them from understanding the police cautions on their right for counsel.


据法庭文件显示,41岁华裔移民陈友(音译)曾向法院提起诉讼,指控两名警员侵犯了他的宪章权利。陈友称因为自己英语能力有限,他根本没有听懂警方有关其律师权的提示。

Mr. You Chen, a 41-year-old Chinese immigrant filed legal claim in court accusing two police officers had breached his charter of rights, according to court document.  He claimed that he didn’t understand police statements about his right to counsel due to his limited English skills.


身为超市员工的陈友已经在加拿大生活了二十年。在2014年的一个夏夜,陈友在酒驾途中于401公路发生车祸,导致其车辆受损。当拖车将陈友及其车辆送回家时,他惊讶地发现一辆警车已经等在那里。

Chen, who had lived in Canada for two decades, was a supermarket worker. On a summer night in 2014, Chen had an accident while driving impaired on 401, causing damages to his vehicle. When a tow truck took him and his car to his home, Chen was surprised to find that a police cruiser had arrived.


满口酒气、双眼通红且步履蹒跚——陈友在警员面前显示出了所有酒驾迹象。认定陈友属于酒后驾车,警员打算将他带回警局进行调查拘留。但此后所发生的事情却导致陈友针对相关警员提起违宪投诉和指控。

Chen showed all signs of intoxication to the officers – including alcohol smell from his breath, watery, bloodshot eyes and unsteady gait. Believing Chen was driving impaired, the officer planned to bring him to the station for investigation detention. But what happened afterwards had led to Chen’s charter complaint against the officers.


根据法官的裁决理由,相关警员在警局曾数次向陈友反复声明其律师权,并且在每句话后都会追问“你明白了么?”

According to the judge’s reasons for the decision, the officer gave Chen his right to counsel through several statements at the station, each followed by a question “Do you understand?”


据相关警员称,尽管陈友说英语有口音,但他的英语技能已足以理解警方的陈述和提问。

But the officers claimed that Chen, despite showing English accent, had sufficient English skills to understand police statements and questions.


相关警员在出庭作证时称,陈友能够用英语与他们对话,并能迅速且清楚地回答他们的问题,尽管陈友口音很重,但其英语的流利程度似乎已足以让他理解警方所说的一切。

The officers testified in court that Chen was capable of carrying out conversation with them in English, providing answers in an immediate and cogent way, and that despite a clear accent, Chen appeared to be fluent enough to understand all that was said to him.


“如果你已经有律师,你可以与其交谈。你明白了么?”

 “You can speak to a lawyer you wish, if you have one you want. Do you understand?”


“你唯一要做的事情就是接受呼吸检测。你明白了么?”

“The only thing you have to do is to give me breath samples. Do you understand?”


但陈友在法庭上通过其律师辩称,虽然他对所有这些英语问题都回答了“是的”,但其实他根本没有完全听懂。

Chen, through his lawyer, argued in court that while saying “yes” to all these English questions, he, in fact did not understand them.


陈友称,在中国当警察与一个普通老百姓对话时,对方必须回答所有问题,否则就有可能挨打。尽管陈友已经在加拿大生活了二十年,但他仍认为加国警察会像中国警察一样行事。

He said that in China, when the police talk to a citizen, the person must answer or risk being assaulted.  Despite being in Canada for twenty years, Chen believed that Canadian police act like Chinese police.


陈友称:“我有时并不明白警方说的是什么意思,但我不敢反驳他们。”

“I sometimes didn’t understand the police but I dared not to contradict them,” he said.


但是,警局的对话记录显示陈友能够迅速回答警方的提问,并毫不犹豫地正确执行警员的指示,充分表明他已拥有足够熟练度的英语水平。而在警员要求陈友出示驾照后,他能马上作出正确反应,亦可以证明他具备足够的英语理解能力。

But recorded conversations at the police station indicated that Chen had answered the police questions quickly and followed officers’ instruction correctly without hesitation, indicating Chen’s sufficient English proficiency. The fact that Chen produced his driver's licence right after being asked for it served another proof of his reasonable level of English comprehension.


陈友的说辞未能获得法官的认可,法官认定警员的证词公平、公正且前后一致,而陈友则是不可信的证人。最终,法院驳回了陈友指控警员违背宪章的诉讼。

Chen failed to gain the trust from the judge, who found that the officers’ testimonies were fair, candid and consistent and that Chen was an incredible witness. The court dismissed his application alleging breach of his charter rights by the officers.


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