Judge scolds Ottawa for lack of action on Khadr - Macleans.ca

Judge scolds Ottawa for lack of action on Khadr

Federal Court gives government a week remedy breach of Charter rights


It’s been eight years since a 15-year-old Omar Khadr was shot and captured on an Afghanistan battlefield—and his battle in the courts continues to drag on. A brief review of his Supreme Court challenges: In 2008, the high court ruled that the government violated Khadr’s Charter rights by dispatching CSIS agents to grill him at the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison camp at a time when detainees had no access to lawyers or independent courts. To compensate for the breach, Ottawa was ordered to release all the Canadian evidence gathered during those CSIS interrogations, including hours of videotape that show Khadr pointing to his bullet wounds and begging the unnamed spy to take him home. Along with those recordings came a damning memo written in 2004 by a Canadian bureaucrat, who said Gitmo guards subjected the teenager to three weeks of sleep deprivation in order to make him “more amenable and willing to talk” to visiting Canadian officials. Armed with that revelation, Khadr’s lawyers went back to the Supreme Court, arguing a further Charter breach and demanding that Stephen Harper ask the Americans to send Khadr back to Canada. In January, though, the Supreme Court sided with the feds, saying that although Canadian officials contributed to Khadr’s mistreatment, it would not be “appropriate for the court to give direction as to the diplomatic steps necessary to address the breaches of Mr. Khadr’s Charter rights.” What Ottawa did instead was send the Americans a diplomatic note, asking that the U.S. not use any of the intelligence gleaned in those CSIS interrogations against Khadr during his upcoming military prosecution. But today, the Federal Court chimed in yet again, saying that the government’s note wasn’t remedy enough. The prime minister now has seven days to come up with something else that provides Khadr with “procedural fairness and natural justice.”

Toronto Sun

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Judge scolds Ottawa for lack of action on Khadr

  1. The SCOC said the courts can neither comment on nor carry out the remedy since it entails the diplomacy of foreign relations. So where does Judge Zinn get off trying to do just that?

    From the Sun: Zinn says he will impose a solution if the government doesn't find one.

    Really? Does that include rustling up the sextagenarian security guards from his courthouse and leading this posse on an amphibious assault of the naval base of our most important military ally?

    • This judge is a loon. They think that they can enter the executive and legislative branches of the government by issuing ultimatums. And of course, since that won't work, they're threatening to take over the executive and legislative branches.

      Ha. What a laugh.

  2. If Mr. Khadr didn't have a dislike for Canada prior to his 8 year incarceration in Guantanamo, he would certainly have less than positive feelings toward our country now. Some will say that that doesn't matter but he still has not been convicted of any crime.


  3. "Federal Court gives government a week remedy breach of Charter rights"

    or what?

    does the judge actually think he can make the government do anything? they sit at the pleasure of the government – it's the other way around, if anything.

    • Our government can't just ignore any ruling they dislike or that goes against them. It's called the rule of law, corey.. look it up sometime. After all, you conservatives are supposed to be law and order types..

      (PS. Okay, they can overrule if they use the notwithstanding clause where it's applicable. But that must pass a legislative vote).

    • "Federal Court gives government a week remedy breach of Charter rights"… Rofl, if anyone in positions of power have breached the Charter Rights then why would the court give them a week? bahahaha

  4. Eight years of torture, and no conviction . If the U.S had a solid case the trial would have been held and completed over five years ago. The only problem with a timely trial is that with their filmsy evidence they would have to acquit. In the meantime Harper a want to be Bush stands by and does absolutely nothing in clear violation of every imaginable protecol and international law relative to child soldiers . Harper would not know the right thing to do even if it bit him in the posterior. Harper goes out of his way to free a convicted Ms. Martin from a Mexican jail and does nothing for an innocent Canadian child . Skin colour and religious affiliations seem to count in Harper`s perverted sense of justice.

  5. "natural justice". Whatever that's supposed to mean.

    • The only meaning I can think of is "justice according to natural law", as in the longstanding concept that certain of society's laws are based on a recognition of man's nature. That would be ironic, though, since our judicial system rejected this concept some 50 years ago and has been operating on the principle that all law is arbitrary ever since.

      • Natural law doesn't go away, even if judges stop referencing it in rulings.

        • It seems to be holding strong in sentencing these days.

  6. Omar Khadr must be sent to Afghanistan for trial – that is where he killed and terrorized people. If he gets a free pass for killing and terrorizing Afghans because he happens to hold a Canadian passport, that undermines the mission to civilize that country.

  7. This guy has wasted far too much of our money. He set out to intentionally kill US and Canadian soldiers, so I really don't care if he is holding any Canadian citizenship. He is a terrorists, plain and simple. He should be either shot for treason or locked up for life in the US. This needs to come to an end. I'm sure we can spend our money somewhere else more important. The judge should be fired (if possible), for causing so much unneeded trouble. I wish that we could elect judges, that way they would be more inclined to uphold a just law.

  8. Honestly, if what he went through in Gitmo got to him, 8 years later, he's sure to be mentally unstable. If it didn't, you can bet the house on the fact that he'll still have an axe to grind. (Let's not forget, he went to Afghanistan with the aim to kill our allies' soldiers.) I'm not comfortable with either scenario playing out.

  9. We'll see if the Government appeals and seeks an injunction. I wouldn't be surprised. Only a few months ago (and many years after Khadr ended up at Guantanamo) the SCC refused to grant the remedy sought here (i.e. repatriation) on the grounds that the court is loathe to interfere in the exercise of foreign relations. I don't think they envisioned that mere months later a lower court would order the government to do just that. This ruling does not conform to the restraint exercised by this countries high court.

    Whether you think Omar Khadr should be accorded due process (and I do) is irrelevant. The issue here is a fundamental legal-constitution one regarding whether the court should be ordering the executive to follow a particular course of conduct vis-a-vis a foreign government. The Supreme Court (with some equivocation) said no, and now mere months later a judge two levels of court lower says yes? I'd be shocked if the feds didn't appeal.

  10. Why not get him back to appease terrorists nannies and then boot him out back to Afghanistan. He was guilty of the offense and admitted it. Even here in Canada if a minor takes a life, the case is raised to adult sentencing. A fifteen year old is not a baby who do not know what is right and wrong. The family and relatives who send him to Afghanistan for that purpose should be booted out from Canada also. He took not only one but many lives, so why is there a concerted effort to get him back? From where these efforts originated from and what do they gain from this? Why is there no pressure for the family to be booted out instead – they were complicit to his crime.