Friday, February 23, 2007

Top court rules against security certificates

No time to write about this in detail right now, but YIPPPEEE. The Supreme Court just struck down Security Certificates, saying that they violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court gave the government one year to fix the problem, though, which means that the 5 detainees are still in jeopardy.

Still, this is a very, very exciting day.

-- Ariel (toes still frozen from protesting against Condi Rice in the blistering, sunny cold)

Top court rules against security certificates
Last Updated: Friday, February 23, 2007 | 7:51 AM ET
The Canadian Press

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the security certificate system used by the federal government to detain and deport foreign-born terrorist suspects.

In a 9-0 judgment, the court found that the system, described by government officials as a key tool for safeguarding national security, violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

But the court suspended the judgment from taking legal effect for a year, giving Parliament time to write a new law complying with constitutional principles.

Critics have long denounced the certificates, which can lead to deportation of non-citizens on the basis of secret intelligence presented to a Federal Court judge at closed-door hearings.

Those who fight the allegations can spend years in jail while the case works its way through the legal system. In the end, they can sometimes face removal to countries with a track record of torture.

The system was challenged on constitutional grounds by three men from Morocco, Syria and Algeria — all alleged by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to have ties to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. All deny any such ties.

More to come

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