Canada's Passenger Protect Program: Too Guilty to Fly, Too Innocent to Charge?

30 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2007

See all articles by Faisal Kutty

Faisal Kutty

Valparaiso University Law School

Date Written: January 31, 2007


Canada's cleverly named Passenger Protect Program, which is nothing less than a "No-Fly" List, is set to take off in the spring of 2007. This article identifies and explores many of the concerns with the new program and concludes that it will have profound impact on fundamental liberties, human rights, privacy rights and poses a serious threat of racial/religious profiling. The article argues that the Passenger Protect Program must be debated and thoroughly investigated by Parliament. The fig leaf process of canvassing regulatory comment, ex post facto, instituted to attempt to give this initiative legitimacy falls far short of what is required.

The article questions how there could be a list of suspected terrorists and sympathizers so dangerous to fly, yet so innocent that they can roam Canadian streets so freely?

The article concludes that what is needed is not this list, but better investigative and intelligence work to gather evidence so that those who are real threats are charged and kept off the streets, not just flights. In the alternative, if it is proven that such a list is necessary and effective, then the minimum standards of due process, principles of fundamental justice, accountability, transparency, and oversight must be incorporated into the program.

Keywords: Smart Border Declaration, anti-terror laws, terrorism, Muslims, Islam, no-fly list, racial profiling, due process, fundamental justice, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Passenger Protect, watch list, September 11, privacy rights, liberty rights, human rights, civil rights, Maher Arar

Suggested Citation

Kutty, Faisal, Canada's Passenger Protect Program: Too Guilty to Fly, Too Innocent to Charge? (January 31, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Faisal Kutty (Contact Author)

Valparaiso University Law School ( email )

656 S. Greenwich St.
Valparaiso, IN 46383-6493
United States
219-465-7813 (Phone)
416-289-0339 (Fax)


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