Security Certificates

Update on Security Certificate in TMLD, May 20

posted on May 24, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by "C. Ailes"
Source: Harkat Email List (
Date: May 20, 2008

[[Diana Younes article is important to read]]

Update on Security Certificate in TMLD, May 20


- Constitutional Challenge to Special Advocate Regime

- How Suresh Haunts Bill C-3 and Section 2 of the Charter - Diana Younes, The Court

- Extraordinary Renditions: Quebec Human Rights Organizations Join in Call to Bring Montreal Man Home - [link]


Constitutional Challenge to Special Advocate Regime

Security certificate detainee Adil Charkaoui has filed a notice of motion before the Federal Court of Canada seeking a judgement declaring the new security certificate regime, Bill C-3, to be unconstitutional. Charkaoui is also seeking an interim order that will relax or lift the strict bail conditions he and his family are subject to.

At the time of Bill C-3's passage through the House of Commons this past February, it was widely opposed as unconstitutional, similar to the legislation it was replacing, and was expected to be the subject of a court challenge. Helen Burnett, in on March 10, wrote: "In their submission to the Senate committee, Lawyers Rights Watch notes that Bill C-3 does 'nothing in regard to the s. 7 issue' raised in the Supreme Court decision. 'In the words of the Supreme Court, the person concerned will still not know the case he has to meet. As such, the s. 7 fundamental justice requirement is violated,' says the submission."

[ Read the rest ... ]

How Suresh haunts Bill C-3 and Section 2 of the Charter

posted on May 12, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Diana Younes
URL: [link]
Date: May 12th, 2008

A central objective and guiding principle in Canadian immigration policy has been the management of migration flows. At the core is a balance between two broad interests; state sovereignty and security versus the basic human right to mobility and to shelter from persecution. While the first set of interests has historically dominated in Canadian immigration laws, the advent of the point system in the Immigration Act in 1967 and the birth of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 have been touted as markers of a new modern era that offers constitutional rights to foreign nationals and leverages human rights. However, this does not conclude the story.

Today, despite the often positively cited Charkaoui v. Canada (2007) SCC 9 decision and the legislative amendments of Bill C-3 to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) on February 14, 2008, the current state of the law maintains a propensity to diminish the right of refugees to freedom of association guaranteed by Section 2(d) of the Charter.

When issued a certificate of inadmissibility on security grounds, one faces two vague terms of allegation. One is “terrorism” and the other is “being a member” of an organization that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages in, has engaged in or will engage in terrorism (IRPA Section 34(1)(f)). The courts have continually refrained from defining “membership” and only recently has the Supreme Court adopted a definition for “terrorism” that was borrowed from the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel and Inhumane Punishment. By allowing the meaning of “membership” to remain elusive the courts have effectively subordinated Section 2 Charter rights and in specific, Section 2(d): Freedom of association.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Presbytery demands fairness in security certificate hearings

posted on May 05, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Andrew Duffy
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
URL: [link]
Date: May 04, 2008

The Ottawa Presbytery of the United Church of Canada has called on the federal government to offer fair trials to the five men -- including Ottawa's Mohamed Harkat -- who now face secretive security certificate hearings.

The security certificate legislation, which was redrafted earlier this year, gives the federal government the right to arrest and detain foreign-born terror suspects. Canadian citizens must be charged under the Criminal Code if they are suspected of terrorist activity.

In an open letter, Rick Balson, chairman of the Ottawa presbytery, says it is immoral to apply lesser human rights standards to non-citizens: "By this security certificate legislation, we risk repeating the mistakes made when we forced the deportation of Japanese in World War Two and incarcerated many new Canadians during and after World War One."

© The Ottawa Citizen 2008

TMLD April 15: No to Secret Trials, Secret Evidence, Indefinite Detention...

posted on April 18, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

TML Daily <[email]> wrote: April 15, 2008 - No. 56 No to Secret Trials, Secret Evidence, Indefinite Detention and Deportation to Torture! Abolish Security Certificates Montreal, February 26, 2008 • No to Secret Trials, Indefinite Detention and Deportation to Torture! • Federal Court Holds Third Hearing for Security Certificate Detainees Under New Legislation - Christian Legeais, Spokesperson, Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee • Secret Hearing to Determine Conflict of Interest for Special Advocates • Secrecy Piled on Secrecy: Democracy Day in Secret Trials Land - Matthew Behrens, Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada • Independence Controversy Swirls around New Special Advocates - Cristin Schmitz, The Lawyers Weekly • Private Member's Bill Tabled to Amend Security Certificate Act • New Security Certificates Law Escapes Both Public Scrutiny and Democratic Dissent - Wade Deisman and Mike Larsen • Join the Caravan to End Canadian Involvement in Torture, Toronto-Ottawa, May 1-9, 2008 - Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada United States • Charges Against Mohammed Kamal Elzahabi Dropped Europe • Court of Human Rights Bans Deportation to Torture === Go directly to the CPC(ML) website: [link] SUBSCRIPTON: You or someone has requested to be added to the TMLD mailing list. If you wish to remove your address, write to [email]

Ottawa clears way for lawyers to act as advocates

posted on April 15, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Canadian Press
Source: The Globe and Mail
URL: [link]
Date: April 15, 2008

OTTAWA - Legal obstacles have been cleared for two lawyers to become the first special advocates appointed in Canada to protect the rights of accused terrorists.

The federal government dropped its objections to the appointment of Paul Copeland and John Norris after the two lawyers agreed to end their involvement in other national security cases that might have put them in a conflict of interest.

It will be up to the judge designated to hear each case to choose a special advocate for each accused. However, the fact that the government has dropped its objections likely clears the way for Mr. Copeland to act as special advocate for Hassan Almrei and Mohamed Harkat, and for Mr. Norris to represent Mahmoud Jaballah and Mohamed Zeki Mahjoub, all accused of terrorist acts.

All four were initially detained under Canada's secretive security certificate process, under which the government was able to present evidence behind closed doors, without lawyers representing the men.

Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down security certificates as unconstitutional. In response, the government rewrote the law to allow security-cleared lawyers, known as special advocates, to attend the closed hearings, challenge government evidence and protect the rights of the accused.

The agreement struck between the federal government and Mr. Copeland and Mr. Norris was summarized in a Federal Court order yesterday.

The government was concerned that the two lawyers, as special advocates, would be privy to secret information.

In particular, the government insisted neither lawyer be involved in future with the Iacobucci inquiry, which is investigating the claims of three men who say they were tortured in Syria as suspected terrorists.

© Copyright 2008 CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Secret hearing to Discuss Secret hearings

posted on April 03, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

By "TASC" - [email]
Source: Secrettrials-org Email List
Date: April 2, 2008

As if special advocates needing special advocates in secret hearings were not enough, next week the Senate is convening a secret hearing to discuss secret hearings as well. Deeper and deeper into the ditch we go..... -TASC (Matthew Behrens)

- - - - - - - - -

French text follows / Le texte français suit)

Sent: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 2:38 p.m.
Subject: ANTI-TERRORISM (SPECIAL) - Notice of Meeting for Monday,
April 7, 2008 / ANTITERRORISME (SPÉCIAL) - Avis de convocation pour
le lundi 7 avril 2008


Monday, April 7, 2008 1:30 p.m.
Room 160-S, Centre Block

AGENDA Study on the provisions governing the security certificate process set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27, as recently modified by An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, S.C. 2008, c. 3, as well as conduct a review of the operation of that process in the context of Canada's anti-terrorism framework.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Independence controversy swirls around new special advocates

posted on March 31, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Cristin Schmitz
Source: The Lawyers Weekly
URL: [link]
Date: March 28, 2008

A longtime military lawyer, and a civil litigator whose major client is the federal Department of Public Works, are among the latest lawyers with links to the government of Canada who have been appointed as independent special advocates for those held under security certificates.

Lieutenant-Colonel Denis Couture of Ashton, Ont., who retired in 2003 after 27 years in the Office of the Judge Advocate General and who continues to work as a lawyer in the Canadian Forces (CF) reserves, and Sylvain Lussier, a Montreal civil litigator who was lead counsel for the federal government at the Gomery Commission of Inquiry into the sponsorship scandal from 2004 to 2006, were among the six new special advocates named by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson March 4.

They join a roster of 13 other security-cleared special advocates appointed Feb. 22 to protect the interests of persons named in security certificates during closed-door judicial reviews of the certificates based on secret government evidence.

[ Read the rest ... ]

National security lawyers decry lack of support for defending accused terrorists

posted on March 23, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

By Colin Perkel (CP)
Source: The Toronto Sun
URL: [link]
Date: March 23, 2008

TORONTO - Lawyers tasked under Canada's newly rewritten national security law with testing top secret evidence against alleged terrorists say they fear a lack of resources, including things as simple as an office with a secretary to type letters, could damage their ability to do the job.

As a result, several of the 19 special advocates are pressing the government to provide the help they say will be critical to their ability to function.

"Something like an office of the special advocate is going to be essential," said Gordon Cameron, a special advocate who was outside counsel to the committee that oversees the country's spy service.

"There's nothing in place right now. The special advocates wish things were further advanced."

Under the legislation passed last month, the elite group of lawyers will gain access to top secret information Canada's spy agency, CSIS, has against a suspected terrorist so they can challenge its validity in front of a judge in closed hearings.

Five men with alleged terrorism links have spent years in Canadian legal limbo based on such unseen evidence.

[ Read the rest ... ]

New national security law faces first hurdle as government tries to nix lawyers

posted on March 19, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

URL: [link]
Source: Canadian Press
Date: March 16, 2008

TORONTO — With five suspected Muslim terrorists caught in legal limbo, a freshly minted group of special advocates tasked with testing the government's secret evidence against the men could find themselves stymied by an upcoming secret hearing that raises questions about Canada's revamped national security legislation.

Under the new law, foreigners detained as a security risk can appoint one of the advocates to gain access to the highly classified intelligence about them, although the information would remain off-limits to the accused terrorist and his lawyer.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Special advocates for accused terrorists grapple with new national security regime

posted on March 19, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Source: Canadian Press
URL: [link]
Date: March 10, 2008

TORONTO — Lawyers for five alleged terrorists who have long fought to see secret evidence against their clients may soon get that chance under Canada's newly revamped system of national security certificates.

Among key issues to be worked out at a meeting with the chief justice of the Federal Court on Tuesday is the appointment "special advocates" - lawyers who will have access to the highly confidential intelligence used to detain the men.

"It's a totally new field. Nobody knows what they're doing. Nobody knows anything yet," said Toronto lawyer Paul Copeland, who represents two of the five alleged terrorists and is on the list of special advocates.

[ Read the rest ... ]

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