Be Careful What You Wish for?: Terrorism Prosecutions in Post-9/11 Canada
42 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2014 Last revised: 15 Jan 2015
Date Written: August 1, 2014
The criminal law, particularly in Canada, is significantly more restrained and more just than indeterminate immigration detention accompanied by the threat of deportation to torture and the use of secret evidence not disclosed to the detainee. Nevertheless, this insight does not mean that “charge or release” or the “criminal law solution” does not carry its own fair share of often under-appreciated dangers. Many of these dangers occur at pre and post trial stages of prosecutions that are often ignored in criminal law scholarship. The dangers of the criminal law approach to terrorism examined in this article include widespread use of preventive detention and reverse onuses at bail, a reluctance to use stays of proceedings to provide protection against entrapment of the accused or non-disclosure to the accused of relevant but unused information, legislative overbreadth in creating terrorism offences and the danger of disproportionate punishment of those convicted of terrorism offences that may only have a remote connection to actual terrorist violence.
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