Friday, January 29, 2010

Canada vs. Omar Khadr 2010

Shorter Supremes :
While it is true that the Canadian government violated the Canadian charter rights of a Canadian citizen when it sent Canadian agents to interrogate him in a foreign concentration camp and then turned the contents of that interview obtained under duress over to the owners of that concentration camp, and while it is true that same Canadian's charter rights continue to be violated every day that he is held there, unfortunately we don't do foreign policy here at the Supreme Court so we're hoping Steve will do the right thing all by himself.
(edited for clarity)


CanNurse said...

I like your "short", Alison - well summarized! The only thing I'd say is that it is my interpretation via Constitutional Law that the Supremes do not have THE POWER to do Foreign Policy - i.e. to tell the gov. what it must do. The constitution does not give them the power to do this, as much as they might wish to. So, imo, they were between a rock & a hard place & had no available remedy that they could apply. In my understanding of the Law.

thwap said...

"Or else!"

[or else "nothing" apparently.]

Morning said...

The "else" was probably expected to be a political response during question period, etc. Which is thoroughly prorogued.

Perhaps this is one more reason why Harper made the call, expecting an unfavourable result, such as this. And it is unfavourable to the government, as well as the 2004 Liberals.

Shortest Supreme Court: "The Crown violated the Charter in 2004 and continues to do so."

The only response can be political, not judicial, but Harper's dealt with that, at least for now. Does he hope it will go away with a loss of confidence early in March? If so this makes the prorogation that much more heinous.

Accountability avoided.

Marcus said...

The Supreme court absolutely can tell the government what to do.

Calling it foreign policy is an interpretation not a fact. Is the canadian government's foreign policy now to leave canadians out on a limb if they are in a foreign country?

Canada helps people all the time in trouble in foreign countries. Now they want to pick and choose how they follow the constitution. What is the point of the courts if they can't tell the government what to do?

Marcus said...

Sorry CanNurse:

Here it is right within the decision for all to read if they want to bother:

"While the government must have flexibility in deciding how its duties under the royal prerogative over foreign relations are discharged, the executive is not exempt from constitutional scrutiny. Courts have the jurisdiction and the duty to determine whether a prerogative power asserted by the Crown exists; if so, whether its exercise infringes the Charter or other constitutional norms; and, where necessary, to give specific direction to the executive branch of the government."

The court has just decided that foreign policy trumps individual rights. That's not in the constitution! It has to be the other way around or the government can just say the magic words and take away your rights. This can't stand.


Morning said...

Unfortunately, Marcus, you can't appeal the Supreme Court.

Marcus said...

It was a futile cry of frustration!

Morning said...

Fair :)

Alison said...

I'm with Marcus here. If the Supremes can't adequately defend the Charter then what the hell are they for?
The sticky bit with lawyers is whether their mandate includes being prescriptive in the details of defending it.
Bottom line is still that they did not stand up to Steve's imperial pretensions.

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