Friday, February 23, 2007

A Sensible Ruling On The Security Certificates

Last week, I spoke with Alan Borovoy about his new book, Categorically Incorrect: Ethical Fallacies in Canada's War on Terror, and about that ongoing civil-rights dilemma that has been especially clouded by activist hyperventilation - security certificates.

"Security certificates authorize the deportation of would-be immigrants regarded as threats to national security. But they’ve resulted in a kind of detention without trial for individuals who choose to fight deportation. A key problem is the reluctance of intelligence agencies to fully reveal the evidence that triggered the certificate. Borovoy proposes a system of security­-cleared lawyers, fully informed of the evidence, who can then fairly and effectively argue their clients’ case."

And that's pretty well what the Supreme Court of Canada proposes in its long-awaited ruling on the law today. But just like last week's craziness, the news media is all over the map, as the National Post, sensibly for once, points out.

Get a grip, people.


Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

Well thats what made it an issue.The publicly expressed concerns of ordinary Canadians.
If ordinary Canadians remained silent about "Security Certificates"(Paranoia,over reaction based on nothing Certificates),you really believe such a ruling would have been undertaken.
Just like every other right we enjoy,it was the blood,sweat,tears and activism of the working class and allies that brought this about.
If the government has hard evidence,the case will stand up in court,it's that simple.
Hiding behind national secret is just a smoke screen.And usually means the government has nothing.
But then we should just trust our government,right.Because the terrorists hordes are banging the doors down...

5:20 PM  
Blogger Robert G. said...

Yeah, from my layman's understanding of the ruling, it's not an objection to the Security Certificate per se. The goal was to ensure the rights of the claimant/defendant within more-or-less the existing framework.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...


Yep, that's about it. Here's how screwed up I am: I actually read the thing. It's pretty straightforward, as SCOC decisions on clear legal issues usually are. The judges gave the government a year to come up with a couple of necessary amendments, and offered suggestions about what those amendments could be. They went for Borovoy's option on the main issue of disclosing evidence.

And the flags are still flying on government buildings, I see.

10:55 PM  

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