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Federal Court Judge rules Government of Canada violated Omar Khadr’s rights; must press for repatriation.

This is BIG news that has just broke:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has an obligation to immediately demand the repatriation of Omar Khadr from Guantanamo Bay because his failure to do so offends fundamental justice, a Federal Court judge ruled Thursday. In a strong judgment, Judge Walter O’Reilly said Harper’s refusal to get involved violated Canada’s Charter of Rights. “The ongoing refusal of Canada to request Mr. Khadr’s repatriation to Canada offends a principle of fundamental justice and violates Mr. Khadr’s rights,” Judge O’Reilly said in his 43-page decision. “To mitigate the effect of that violation, Canada must present a request to the United States for Mr. Khadr’s repatriation as soon as practicable.”

That should make for a lively Question Period I would think. And yes, I’ve no doubt the Government of Canada and Harper will view this ruling as anathema and immediately appeal it.

UPDATE: Beyond the Khadr case, this has obvious immediate repercussions for the government on the other high profile Canadian they’ve refused to allow back into Canada – that being the Abousfian Abdelrazik case, which itself is going to be in court soon with lawyers for him arguing almost the exact same thing as Khadr’s lawyers have been doing – that his Charter rights have been violated.

UPDATE 2 @ 3:20 pm: As predicted, Harper announces he will be considering an appeal.


5 comments to Federal Court Judge rules Government of Canada violated Omar Khadr’s rights; must press for repatriation.

  • foottothefire

    Good thought, Scott. Two Immigration Acts; the one written in law and Steve’s Homegrowed Knuckledraggers Act.

  • KC

    Of course it will be appealed. It was a decision by a trial level court that contains some very arguable points of constitutional law. Just from a glance at it the Judge very summarily deals with the issue of imposing positive obligations on the state, and finds that a “duty to protect” is a principle of fundamental justice. That is breaking new ground in s. 7 jurisprudence, and therefore has implications beyond the immediate facts of this case.

    The SCC may very well agree with this decision but I dont think its a decision that can be left to a trial court judge.

  • Scott.. I spoke directly to Pierre Poilievre on this. Despite the raids by the RCMP and the rulings by Elections Canada, despite the reservations of some of their own riding association chairs, they specifically choose to ignore the law or to interpret it in a way that most people, including their own, would not.

    They don’t give a damn about the law when it doesn’t agree with their ideology.

  • At risk of being cynical, since when has Harper and th authoritarian Conservative Party cared what the law says? They’ll do what they did for the In and Out or the Wheat Board or the coalition – they’ll just ignore the inconvenient law.

    They don’t care about Khadr or the law. they are thugs.

    • @Mike, You’re not only cynical, you’re wrong. They did not ignore the Wheat Board ruling (which was also ruled against them in Federal Court), and the “In and Out’ case is still before the courts. As for the coalition, there was nothing to do there with any courts.

      They will no doubt appeal this – probably all the way to the Supreme Court – but if they get ruled against (and they’re still in power by that time) they will in no position to ignore the court order if it goes against them.

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