Constitutional Canaries and the Elusive Quest to Legitimize Security Detentions in Canada
Maureen T. Duffy
McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluraliem
McGill University - Faculty of Law
January 20, 2009
Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 40, pp. 531-560, 2009
Canada, like many other countries, has struggled with questions of how to prevent terrorist attacks without undermining human rights. One tool that gained prominence in recent years involves preventive detention under "security certificates." This measure, undertaken through immigration legislation, applies to non-citizens found inadmissible for one of a number of reasons, including a suspicion that they endanger national security. Such detentions have ignited considerable controversy within Canada. In February 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada found the existing scheme unconstitutional. While the Court did not find the scheme to be discriminatory, in spite of its application only to non-citizens, it did find that the potential use of secret evidence contravened procedural fairness. Canada subsequently passed legislation, creating a special advocate system. This article argues that continued problems exist with these detentions, including questions of discrimination and concerns about the fairness of the new special advocate system.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: terrorism, human rights, Canada, detention, security, lawAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 23, 2009
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