Source: The Institute For Research On Public Policy
URL: [link] (links to a PDF file)
Date: May 22, 2008
For immediate distribution
May 22, 2008
Canada needs new review process for anti-terrorism laws
Study finds national security laws lack independent expert review
Montreal – Parliament needs to develop an independent review system, similar to those in the United Kingdom and Australia , to scrutinize its anti-terrorism measures, according to a new study from the Institute for Research on Public Policy.
In the study, "Fixing the Deficiencies in Parliamentary Review of Anti-terrorism Law: Lessons from the United Kingdom and Australia ," author Craig Forcese argues that Canada ’s Anti-terrorism Act (ATA) overreached, and adopted a definition of terrorist activity that was far broader than necessary.
"Anti-terrorism provisions are too radical to be left unscrutinized," says Forcese, an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa .
The British and Australian assessment procedures are superior to those employed by the Canadian government in its recent ATA review. Britain ’s and Australia ’s procedures should be used as models to create a precursor expert review system. "A credible, independent evaluator will be difficult to ignore, or to paint in a partisan light. One wonders how the carefully considered views of such an evaluator might have affected the disappointing and superficial parliamentary debates on preventive detention and investigative hearings in February 2007," says Forcese.
by The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG)
Source: email fwd
Date: December 12, 2007
Our friend Roch Tasse forwarded this letter that his organization- The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) - sent to Liberal members of Parliament urging them to vote against Bill C-3 (security certificate legislation) later today (Wed).
December 12, 2007
Dear Liberal Member of Parliament,
On behalf of the 38 national organizations members of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (see annexed membership list), I am urging you to vote against the adoption of Bill C-3, the proposed security certificate legislation, during the vote on third reading scheduled to take place later today.
During parliamentary committee hearings over the last two weeks, members of Parliament have heard numerous witnesses, including ICLMG and several of its members, the Canadian Bar Association, the Quebec Bar Association and the Federation of Law Societies, expressing strong concerns that the proposed legislation, even as amended, would likely not pass another constitutional challenge.
These concerns rest on the belief that the proposed legislation fails to address the requirements of the Supreme Court that any alternative to the existing security certificate legislation must meet the basic principles of fundamental justice. Nothing short of criminal prosecution, or the introduction in IRPA of a standard of proof equivalent to that used in criminal prosecution, can meet these basic principles.
Furthermore, Bill C-3 perpetuates a two-tier justice system premised on the belief that non-citizens have fewer rights than citizens, condemning them to possible deportation towards torture or to indefinite detention based on secret intelligence reports and the denial to know and meet the case against them.
Original author: Richard Foot and Juliet O'Neill Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] Date October 23, 2007
The Conservative government continued to roll out its crime and security agenda Tuesday, tabling legislation to resurrect a controversial pair of counter-terrorism measures that Parliament had allowed to expire earlier this year.
The two measures, known as investigative hearings and preventive arrests, give authorities exceptional powers to force people to testify in secret hearings, and to arrest and temporarily detain terrorist suspects without warrants.
"These tools were enacted to help prevent terrorist activities from being carried out and to assist in investigating terrorism offences," a statement from the Department of Justice said.
1. Media coverage of introduction of draft law; 2. Press Release from Canadian Council for Refugees and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group.
Le Soleil Ottawa présente ses modifications aux certificats de sécurité Tuesday 23 October 2007 La Presse Canadienne
Le gouvernement fédéral propose d'autoriser des "avocats spéciaux" à assister les personnes visées par un certificat de sécurité, qu'on soupçonne de terrorisme et qu'on menace de déporter sans pour autant leur dire exactement pourquoi.
Cette idée est contenue dans un projet de loi déposé hier par le ministre de la Sécurité publique Stockwell Day en réponse à un arrêt de la Cour suprême qui a jugé "inconstitutionnelle" cette procédure qui ne s'applique pas aux citoyens canadiens. Le plus haut tribunal du pays avait donné aux conservateurs un an soit jusqu'en février 2008, pour repenser le régime.
Original author: Roch Tasse
Source: ICLMG email list
Date: July 19, 2007
Government response to the Parliamentary Committee on Public Safety's sub-committee on the Anti-Terrorism Act & security certificates
The government has provided its response to the Parliamentary Committee on Public Safety's sub-committee report on the Anti-Terrorism Act and security certificates.
The response is available at:
ou en français à
[link]Sections H and I are of interest for security certificates. Key points:
- They say the security certificate process is necessary.
- They give a wonderfully coy interpretation of the central finding in the Supreme Court's Charkaoui decision. Instead of saying that the Court held that the government is violating the Charter, they say the Court "held that the Government could do more to protect the rights of the individual". They also say that the Court endorsed the development of a model which included an independent agent" (not true).
Original author: Diana Ralph Source: HarkatJustice email List URL: N/A Date: July 19, 2007
You can find the Harper government's response to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security and the Subcommittee on the Review of the Anti-terrorism Act at [link] It's a big download. 13 megs, 41 pages.) It was released yesterday.
Original author: Andrew Mayeda Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: N/A Date: May 16, 2007
Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said yesterday the Harper government is moving "aggressively" to resurrect two provisions of the Anti-terrorism Act that sparked a furore in the House of Commons and exposed deep divisions within the ranks of the Liberal party.
The provisions of the law enabling "preventive arrests" and "investigative hearings" were allowed to expire this spring after the Liberals withdrew support for extending them. The Liberals, who brought in the clauses while in power after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, argued the clauses were no longer necessary and could infringe on civil liberties.
But the move unleashed a torrent of condemnation from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose party labelled the Liberals "soft on terror." The switch also drew criticism from tough-on-crime members of the Liberal caucus.
Mr. Day told the Commons public safety committee yesterday that he and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson have been developing amendments to the country's security certificate regime to address shortcomings identified by a recent Supreme Court ruling.
Original author: Andrew Duffy
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
Date: March 17, 2007
If Canada tells all, other countries won't share information, federal officials insist
Federal lawyers say Canada's ability to obtain foreign intelligence will be dangerously compromised if sensitive information is released in the terrorism trial of Ottawa's Momin Khawaja.
The government has asked the Federal Court of Canada to keep secret some of the evidence it intends to present against Mr. Khawaja at his criminal trial.
Among the material it wants protected are documents that have been mistakenly handed to Mr. Khawaja's defence team.
In a legal brief recently filed with the Federal Court, Deputy Attorney General John Sims says that full disclosure in the Khawaja case could harm anti-terrorism efforts in this country.
Terrorism is an international enterprise, he says, that demands a co-operative response by nations that must be able to trust each other with intelligence. "Canada is generally a net importer of sensitive information," Mr. Sims writes.
"While other states may still be willing to share information with Canada, their calculation of risk and benefit might well be different in many cases if they considered as potentially unreliable Canada's ability to guarantee the protection of information that was given to it in confidence."
"This would, in turn, impair Canada's ability to combat terrorism."
Mr. Khawaja, an Ottawa software developer, was arrested on March 29, 2004 at the Department of Foreign Affairs, where he was doing contract work.
Original author: Unsigned Editorial Source: Embassy- Canada's Foreign Policy Newsweekly URL: [link] Date: March 7th, 2007
Usually sunsets evoke peaceful responses from those who observe them. But last week, when the sun set on the provisions of Canada's anti-terror act that had allowed police to arrest Canadians without charge, compelling them to testify, the effect was anything but peaceful.
Weighing in from the U.S. was Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner, one of the authors of the American version of the anti-terror act: The Patriot Act. The congressman told CBC's Kathleen Petty that his law, which has so far withstood court challenges, exists as a credit to non-partisan behavior on the part of the Republicans and Democrats who made it law and allow it to stand.
Original author: Thomas Walkom
Source: The Toronto Star
Date: March 3, 2007
Despite rhetoric, Liberals could support new clauses
What are we to make of the Commons decision to ditch two elements of Canada's anti-terror laws? Prime Minister Stephen Harper would have us believe that the move has left Canada more vulnerable to terrorism. Stéphane Dion's Liberals, who combined forces with the New Democrats and Bloc Québécois to outvote the government on this issue, insist they are standing up for human rights.
In fact, neither side is being totally straightforward. Harper notwithstanding, Canada still has robust laws that allow police to forestall terror attacks. For their part, the opposition parties are more amenable to eventually reinstituting some version of the measures they killed this week than their current rhetoric suggests.
Click on the photo of Mohamed to see all items related to him. JUNE 2017: Mohamed Harkat once again faces deportation to his native Algeria after the Supreme Court of Canada declared the federal government’s security certificate regime constitutional.
This fight is not over. The Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee will re-double its efforts to see that justice is done for Mohamed Harkat and that the odious security certificate system of injustice is abolished once and for all.