All of this is to say that the conversation about what to do with tips from torturing states should not be about “never”. Instead, it should be about what the “extraordinary circumstances” are that Minister Toews speaks about, and what then can be done with the information. “Yes” to a search of Flight 182′s baggage. “No” to deporting someone on the strength of problematic information. Where to draw the line? In essence, that is the dilemma with which the Ottawa Principles try to grapple.
As for Minister Toew’s directive: Where I fault the directive is in its lack of precision: what does it mean by extraordinary circumstances, and what then can happen to the information. Where can it creep? A little Ottawa Principles-like language would be preferred.