Saturday, February 24, 2007

Canada's Highest Court Rips Security Certificates

In a unanimous decision penned by Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin of the SC of Canada said this secrecy violated the fundamental right to fair trial enshrined in the Constitution.

The decision refers to the Security Certificates issued under the provision of the law to detain non-citizens for suspected ties to terrorists or terrorism without charges and on the Basis of Secret Evidence heard on close hearings and subjected the detainees to deportation.

The Court give the Government a Year to re-write the provision to conform with the provision of the Charter and suggested some ways on how to go about it.
And the conservative Government of PM Harper said that it will Study the Court decision and will comply with its order and will undertake changes , but insisted the basic principle of the Security Certificate has been Maintained.

The Chief Justice further wrote:
Quote: "A judge who reviews the certificate and the government's evidence, uncensored, "simply cannot fill the vacuum left by the removal of the traditional guarantees of a fair hearing."

"Such scrutiny is the whole point of the principle that a person whose liberty is in jeopardy must know the case to meet. Here that principle has not merely been limited; it has been effectively gutted," McLachlin wrote. "How can one meet a case one does not know?" Unquote:

Aside from the implications of the ruling within Canada, some have pointed the Universal implications as the Democratic Governments worldwide grapple with their Security while upholding the Civil and Human Rights.

Further Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin wrote: "Security concerns cannot be used to excuse procedures that do not conform to fundamental justice ... that is the bottom line," McLachlin wrote.

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