Security Certificates

Court won't hear security certificate case until 2009: lawyer

posted on February 21, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

By Canwest News Service Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] Date: February 21, 2008 MONTREAL - It would take a minimum of 18 months before a challenge to new federal security certificate legislation could be brought before the Supreme Court of Canada, said a lawyer for Adil Charkaoui, a Montreal man accused of being an al-Qaida sympathizer. The top court likely wouldn't hear an attempt to overturn recent changes to the law until late 2009 at the earliest, lawyer Johanne Doyon added. A security certificate allows authorities to arrest and expel non-citizens suspected of being threats to national security. [PHOTO: Caption reads "Adil Charkaoui speaks to journalists in the foyer of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa January 31, 2008."]

After an earlier challenge by Charkaoui, the Supreme Court ruled last year that while security certificates are necessary in an age of terrorism, the current system is unconstitutional because it violates the right of suspects to know the government's secret evidence against them. However, it also gave Ottawa one year to put replacement legislation into effect. The federal government has made the deadline. Thursday morning Charkaoui called the changes "cosmetic." He, Doyon and others said the new legislation remains contrary to the federal Charter of Rights and Freedoms. © Montreal Gazette 2008

[MONTREAL, FEB 21] Press Conference: Security Certificates - Round Two

posted on February 21, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

By Media Advisory Source: Coalition Justice Pour Adil Charkaoui URL: N/A Date 19 février 2008 SECURITY CERTIFICATES: ROUND TWO Press Conference Thursday, 21 February, 9:30am 1710 Beaudry, room 3.5 (metro Beaudry) Montreal

Speakers: Hon. Warren Allmand, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) Mr. Adil Charkaoui Mr. Gaétan Châteauneuf, President, Conseil centrale de Montréal (CSN) Me. Johanne Doyon, Quebec Immigration Lawyers' Association (l'AQAADI) Sheikh Salam Elmenyawi, Muslim Council of Montreal Mr. Mostafa Henaway, Immigrant Workers' Centre Ms. Marie-Eve Lamy, Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui Mr. Charkaoui and several Quebec organizations who have been involved in the campaign against security certificates will react to the passage of new security certificate legislation and discuss next steps. They will also call on the government to refrain from issuing new certificates against Charkaoui and the other detainees under the new law. Mr. Charkaoui was arrested under a certificate in May 2003, and has remained under severe "preventive conditions" since his release from prison in February 2005. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled last year that the old security certificate legislation was unconstitutional. The decision will enter into effect at the end of this week, on 23 February 2008. A new law was adopted by Senate last week despite the prospect of another constitutional challenge. Media contact: cell 514 222 0205 Source: Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui [link] [email] tel 514 848 7583

Special advocates to defend terror suspects

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

By Richard Foot
Source: Canwest News Service
URL: [link]
Date: February 17, 2008

The federal Justice Department will open its doors on Monday to a handful of independent lawyers - branded as traitors by many of their colleagues - for a crash course on the workings of Canada's notorious, new anti-terrorist law.

After a week of lessons in Ottawa, the lawyers will become the country's first official team of "special advocates," appointed to represent terror suspects targeted under one of the most contentious national security laws in Canadian history.

The "special advocates school" is the result of a landmark Supreme Court ruling that struck down the law last year, saying it violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

[ Read the rest ... ]

C-3 passes with contention

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

By Max Halparin Source: The McGill Daily URL: [link] Date: February 18, 2008 Harper delayed introducing bill, then rammed it through Parliament.

Despite voicing strong reservations regarding the constitutionality of the revised security certificate legislation, Bill C-3, Canada’s Senate approved the bill Tuesday, leaving just the ceremonial procedure left before it becomes law. Advocacy groups and security certificate detainees were shocked that the bill was rushed through without substantial amendments. “It’s enraging that it not only got through [the House of Commons] with just a few minimal, really meaningless changes, and then pushed through Senate with barely even a gesture into making it a legitimate-looking process,” said Mary Foster, a spokesperson for the support group Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui, who attended the Senate hearings.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Minister Day Announces Passing of Legislation to Improve the Security Certificate Process

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

By Press Release
Source: The Government of Canada
URL: [link]
Date: February 14, 2008

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 14, 2008) - The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, announced that the Senate has passed Bill C-3, which is legislation that amends the security certificate process under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

"We introduced this legislation to maintain the use of security certificates and protect Canadians from threats, but also to strengthen the rights of those arrested under a security certificate," said Minister Day. "Now that this legislation has passed, security certificates - which would never apply to Canadian citizens - will continue to be used to arrest and deport foreign citizens who pose a threat to national security, and at the same time will respect individual rights and freedoms."

This legislation introduces a number of new measures to the process to address the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling in February 2007, including the introduction of special advocates. Special advocates - who will be qualified lawyers - will protect the interests and rights of individuals who are subject to security certificates, ensuring they are adequately represented during closed proceedings.

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Security bill may prove time-waster

posted on February 14, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

By Thomas Walkom
Source: The Toronto Star
URL: [link]
Date: February 14, 2008

Hassan Almrei has been in jail in Canada for more than six years although he's never been charged with any crime. Mohamed Harkat, another man never charged with a crime, was finally granted a particularly rigorous form of conditional release after four years in detention. Surveillance cameras installed in and around his home monitor everything he and his Canadian-born wife do; family members who visit must obtain government permission; in the few instances when he is allowed outside, armed agents escort him everywhere – even to the washroom.

Two weeks ago, when the government learned that Harkat's mother-in-law was no longer living at his home, agents swooped in, arrested him in the shower and bundled him off to jail (a judge eventually sent him home).

[ Read the rest ... ]

Critics question Senate's haste on security law

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

By Canwest News Service
Source: News
URL: [link]
Date: February 09, 2008

Critics of Canada's security certificate law are asking why the Senate is rushing to push through controversial changes to the law, while at the same time refusing to move quickly on another matter, the government's new anti-crime bill.

On Monday a Senate committee will hear testimony from legal experts and others who oppose Bill C-3, the Conservatives' proposed changes to federal security certificate rules, which allow Ottawa to detain and deport non-citizens suspected of being national security threats.

It is the only day of hearings scheduled on the bill by the Senate, where committees normally take several days or weeks to hear witness testimony on new legislation.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Security and freedom at an impasse

posted on February 08, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

By Wesley Wark Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] Date: February 7, 2008 Even with amendments to the security certificate process, Canada still lacks effective laws for fighting terror

When Stephen Harper's conservatives signalled their intention last fall to push ahead with a controversial set of measures to sustain Canada's national security laws, it was easy to imagine that fireworks would ensue. This is a minority government after all, and everyone in the House is engaged in the great guessing game of when, and over what issue, an election might be forced. On some issues, this Parliament has shown a lamentable capacity to lose its head. The last time national security law had been up for debate in a major way -- over the extension of powers under the anti-terrorism act to allow for preventive detention and investigative hearings -- all sides in the House of Commons behaved badly. Allegations were freely traded about hidden agendas, political backsliding, and, to pick up an American theme, "softness" on terrorism. Stephen Harper had only himself to blame. The opposition parties ganged up, driven by desire for political blood, if not by logic, and defeated the government motion. That was a year ago. The latest episode in what will be a long-running political saga to find the elusive key to maintaining both security and democratic rights has forced Parliament to reflect on the troubling matter of security certificates. More fireworks? More bad behaviour? Surprisingly, both the government and the opposition Liberal party seem to have learned a lesson from the fiasco of the debate over the Anti-Terrorism Act and have toned down the rhetoric and engaged in a moment of relatively tranquil bi-partisanship.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Security certificates bill heads to Senate

posted on February 08, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

By Richard Foot
Source: Canwest News Service
Date: February 07, 2008

The House of Commons passed the government's controversial new security certificate legislation yesterday, two weeks before a court-imposed deadline. The Liberal-controlled Senate, which must now approve the bill before it becomes law, has agreed to push the legislation through Parliament before Feb. 23, when Canada 's existing security certificate law expires as ordered by the Supreme Court.

Security certificates are a contentious immigration measure that allows authorities to detain and deport non-citizens considered national security threats. Six Muslim immigrants accused of terrorist links are currently facing deportation from Canada under the process.

Last year, the Supreme Court said parts of the security certificate law were unconstitutional because they did not allow accused people to defend themselves against secret government evidence presented in closed judicial hearings. The court gave Parliament one year, until Feb. 23, to fix the law. The proposed law creates advocates -- security-cleared lawyers appointed by Ottawa to represent the interests of accused people in secret hearings.

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Message from Matthew Behrens

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

By Behrens - [email]
Source: email correspondence
Date: February 04, 2008, 10:40 PM


An attempt to delete, clause by clause, Bill C-3, the act to bring in new secret trials, was defeated this evening in Ottawa, forcing C-3 to a third and final vote in the House of Commons likely to be held tomorrow (Tuesday, February 5). The Conservatives are feeling the heat, even going so far as to put out a press release today urging Stephane Dion and the Liberals to vote with the government on this shameful initiative. Needless to say, most of the Liberals fell in line this evening. The Liberals, who call themselves the party of the Charter, put a dagger through the heart of the Charter's most basic legal rights tonight by helping C-3 make it's way towards final passage tomorrow.

PLEASE call your MP once more and demand that s/he vote against C-3, to say to to new secret trials, indefinite detention without charge, deportation to torture, and two-tier justice.

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