Over to you, Supreme Court? - Macleans.ca
 

Over to you, Supreme Court?


 

While apparently still reviewing the court’s decision, the government apparently remains firm in its refusal to request Omar Khadr’s repatriation.


 

Over to you, Supreme Court?

  1. Yep, we're wrong.
    Nope, we're not going to do anything about it.

    Gonna make us?

    • Yes, the gov`t feel they are right.
      No, they have no interest in interfering with the U.S. judicial system.
      As for the fact that he was arrested when he was only 16, that unusual circumstance is offset by the fact that he and his family were willing to go to Afghanistan, join with their friends the Bin Ladens, and attempt to kill Americans and Canadians.

      • Wow, I guess since he's such a bad person, from a bad family, and since you've already found him guilty, he doesn't need a trial at all.

        Neato.

        • Now MAN, a well educated MAN like yourself ( I think I saw where you gradutated with honours from Journalism 101 ) should have noticed that I never mentioned Khadr`s guilt or innocence. I did say the Canadian gov`t has no interest in interferring in the U.S. judicial system.

          The fact that the Khadrs chose to leave Canada to committ ( allegedlly ) crimes against the Americans appears to be their downfall in your eyes.

    • That's actually a bit of a fascinating question. What if the Supreme Court comes right out and says, "You have to ask for him to be repatriated", and the Harpers say, "Uhh.. no."

      Is there any recourse? Who goes to jail? The justice minister? How does that work?

      • Actually they would probably throw you in jail for coming up with such a stupid hypothetical.

      • That is a fascinating question. I am all for the GG to stay out of politics (even when it is not in my favour) but I can't think of anyone else who would have the authority to call in the RCMP to make arrests. Unless the Supreme's could issue a bench warrant. And yes, I'd say it would be the Justice Minister.

  2. I guess Khadr's lawyers and supporters will now have to test the theory that the SC was indeed saying if the government refused to issue a remedy, they would. I think they should immediately re-apply back to the Supreme Court for remedial relief, pointing to this latest refusal of the Conservative government to do nothing on his rights being violated.

    • I think they'd need to wait on that, because while the government has ruled out asking for repatriation, they are still looking at other options. Now, if looking for other options continues for three months or so, then by all means take it back to the Court. But if you did it now, I think you'd be shooting yourself in the foot because the Supreme's would just give the government a time limit or something. Of course, they might do that even three months from now, because Thwim has a point, what would happen next?

  3. Meanwhile, more than half of the respondents (54 per cent) to an Angus-Reid online poll online poll released Wednesday said they have no sympathy for the man who has been held by the Americans in a Guantanamo Bay detention facility and subjected to torture.

    That has number actually increased since last year when 45 per cent of respondents said they were untroubled by what has befallen Mr. Khadr.

    Granted, online poll, grain of salt, etc., but if that's true, then their current course is win-win-win. Letting Khadr rot is popular; being forced to do more will make that sizable portion of the public more sympathetic to traditional Tory arguments on activist judicial overreach and terrorist-coddling – both here and with regards to Afghan prisoners generally. Have fun with that.

    • You may be right that there is a political upside to refusing to deal with the violation of a Canadian citizen's constitutional rights by his government. I just wish we had a government (not to mention a whole lot more citizens) who didn't primarily/exclusively consider the political ramifications of these situations.

      Basically, I wish we had a government that was interested in governing, rather than constantly campaigning.

      • We are basing rights according to polls now?

    • Yes but, nearly twice as many agreed with the SCC's ruling than disagreed. It may not be a loss for the government, but it's certainly not a win.

  4. read the other part; the online poll is sply on whether to bring him back, and more people then not think he wont get a fair trial.

    The easy thing to do is to have the Supreme Court re-issue another ruling on the government's refusal to issue a remedy. They don't care about online polls or other polls for that matter. They ultimately care about the law and the Constitution being followed.

  5. Dewar has a point, why are we hearing this from the PR guy? And what the hell IS going on over at Justice? is Alberto Gonazalez running the place?

  6. I suspect this playing to the common man is a mistake for Harper. Strictly looking at the polls, this position is a huge winner for Harper. (The Globe's Gloria needs a lesson in the new math; 50% support for your position when there are 3 parties dividing the other 50% is about as good as it gets in wedge politics.) That said, there is no way this is the defining issue for the next election.

    On the other hand, this simply has to be a huge issue for anyone with both an intellect and a conservative philosophy. At this point, the Conservative government appears poised to declare that they are the sole arbiters of when the government has intruded into the life of an individual.

  7. Shhh.. Nicholson is busy "recalibrating" and you'll wakedistract him.

  8. I still don't understand why someone acting on foreign soil and being accused of acts against foreign people is protected under the Canadian Charter. Isn't that like, for example, a foreign Muslim coming over here, committing a crime, and claiming that only Sharia law applies? No, the laws of the jurisdiction in which the act was committed always apply, don't they? I thought this was a basic legal principle.

    • The Charter doesn't normally apply outside of Canada, but the Supreme Court has found that it does apply to agents of the Canadian government engage. I'll quote directly from the unanimous decision of the Court in Canada (Justice) v. Khadr, 2008 SCC 28:

      "The principles of international law and comity of nations, which normally require that Canadian officials operating abroad comply with local law, do not extend to participation in processes that violate Canada's international human rights obligations.

      The process in place at the time Canadian officials interviewed Mr. Khadr and passed the fruits of the interviews on to U.S. officials has been found by the United States Supreme Court to violate U.S. domestic law and international human rights obligations to which Canada is party. In light of these decisions by the United States Supreme Court that the process at Guantanamo Bay did not comply with either U.S. domestic or international law, the comity concerns that would normally justify deference to foreign law do not apply in this case. Consequently, the Charter applies …"

  9. You may want to doublecheck your reading of the poll. It's not a "which party do you agree with" poll, but a pretty simply "Yes, no, I don't know" poll directly about the issue.

  10. Surprise, surprise, surprise…

    You didn't expect the Conservatives to admit they were wrong, do you? Not bloody likely.

  11. The case made it clear that when Canadians are held abroad in violation of the law (local or international) the Charter may become applicable in order to protect them. Such was the case here.

    I'm pretty sure this was mentioned before.

  12. Why aren't they allowed to have their own opinion on things, one they think reflects the will of the people who elected them?

    • Everyone's entitled to an opinion. Governance by opinion, on the other hand, is a dangerous thing.

    • They're allowed to have whatever asinine opinions they want. Fortunately, though, their power to act on those opinions, while quite broad, is restrained by this little thing called a "constitution".

  13. (Also, see my reply to your other post above.)

    I don't care if the Conservatives have an opinion. Unfortunately, this opinion (like their opinions on environmental policy, the economy, childcare, cultural policy, criminal law, …., etc.) does not reflect the majority will of the people of Canada… thus their minority government. These opinions and policy (and general incompetence and lack of direction) is why they are now on an inexorable slide out of office.

  14. No, the key factor was the active participation of Canadian government officials in his incarceration. Had CSIS not become involved there would be no grounds on which the Charter could be invoked. It is a shield against the activities of the Canadian government, not foreign regimes.

    And it has never been clear what Canadian law Mr. Khadr could be charged with having broken.

  15. Agreed, Harper's 'opinion' isn't law.

    A Canadian is a Canadian, whether he's likeable or a sympathetic character or not.

  16. I suspect if you approach this question with the intellect of a regular human being you will be able to figure out the answer yourself.

    Mike R.'s comments about the involvement of Canadian officials are well taken and should also have been mentioned in my answers.

  17. Yeah, Canadian citizen held abroad, in violation of international law, where the breach involved Canadian officials. These were all important factors (esp. the second) in determining applicability.

  18. Khadr should be jailed for life in the U.S. , he should never be returned to Canada, the leftist hug a thug crowd are on the wrong side of the fence yet again.

  19. I think that the Canadian people should decide who represents their opinion in government, and they have. Geez.

    • I don't think one's Charter rights should be subject to a popularity contest.

      • No, but I certainly believe that the opinion of government should somehow take into account or reflect the opinion of the people it represents. Or do you prefer how they do things in Cuba and China?

        • "This party will not take its position based on public opinion polls. We will not take a stand based on focus groups. We will not take a stand based on phone-in shows or householder surveys or any other vagaries of pubic opinion."

          — Stephen Harper

        • I prefer that human and Charter rights are respected at law – which sort of sifts out China and Cuba right there. And organizing the enforcement of those rights around the wishes and bloodlust of a majority is just a different kind of tyranny. I'm sure you've heard the expression "the tyranny of the majority." Frankly, if that is the kind of governance we wanted, we wouldn't need a parliament at all.

          Does anyone feel sympathy for Khadr as a suspected grenader? (Leaving aside child-soldier issues). However many people believe that rights must be accorded in a consistent framework and not at a whim. Many people see the government affording the rights of its citizens the status of "favours" as abhorrent to good governance, freedom and, indeed, democracy.

          Or anyway. That is how I'd "prefer" things.
          [/pontificate]

  20. And the law, so far does not require the government to ask for Mr. Khadr's return. It requires the government to make some effort to cure the Charter violations that arose when Mr. Khadr was interrogated by CSIS under the previous Liberal government's directions. That may take the form of asking the US to release Mr, Khadr, or it may take the form of asking them not to use the results of those interrogations.

  21. Charges, a trial, due process just get chucked out the window eh?

  22. If Saudi Arabia held a Canadian under questionable circumstances, where torture was suspected, and the end result would be beheading, Canada would intervene on his behalf.

    Oh wait…we just did.

    • And we've intervened in Mr. Khadr's case by ensuring him access to consular officials, and monitoring the legal process. If the Americans were threatening him with summary execution without even the form of a fair trial I assume we would make representations to them about that, as we have when other countries do so. You''ll note, of course that other countries are not bound to listen to us when we protest – any more, for example, than the Chinese government listened to the UK government before its recent execution of a mentally-challenged British citizen. When all is said and done, the "remedies' sought by the SCC are likely to be pretty illusory as far as Mr. Khadr is concerned.

  23. Well, you might wait until he's actually convicted of something. There does appear to be at least an arguable defence that he is not guilty of the specific charge against him, and that, at most, he is guilty of having been dragooned into the Taliban/al qaeda army by his odious Dad. In that case he seems to have served a sufficiently long sentence. But that's really between him and the Americans.

  24. And the courts. Don't forget those.

  25. They've tried to. Unfortunately, a single party has prorogued government, so what the opinion of the Canadian people is seems moot at the moment.

  26. "But that's really between him and the Americans."

    That's it, nothing else matters.

  27. No, nothing will be "chucked" out of the window.

  28. Furthermore, your attempted analogy just doesn't hold.

    In Khadr's case, there is absolutely no attempt to hold any foreign government, or any foreign actor at all, to the Charter; there is an attempt to hold the Canadian government responsible under the Charter for its actions. The proper analogy would be to someone from a country governed by Sharia coming to Canada, being accused of a crime, having his home government assist Canadian authorities in their prosecution of him, then challenging said assistance as being forbidden under the Sharia law. Would the Sharia law be applicable to the foreign government in that case? I have no idea; I'm studying common law, not Sharia. But either way, it would have no impact on Canadian law, though it may be of great interest to the fellow awaiting trial (ideally, not for many years) here in Canada.

    Plus (and this is not so much relevant to Canada or Canadian law, but it is relevant to my enjoyment of piling on), I'll point out that Khadr is not being subjected to the law of the land where his alleged actions were committed, but to American… well, not "law", but that's another matter entirely.

  29. Why don't you enlighten us all on what someone "with the regular human being" should think on this question. Specifically, according to the Supreme Court's logic, why can't Sharia Law apply to foreign Muslims here. I'm sure that someone with such a formidable intellect such as yourself can shed some light for some of us clods. Thanks.

  30. "A Canadian is a Canadian, whether he's likeable or a sympathetic character or not. "

    You'd think the hate-filled online winguts would begin to appreciate the value of that.

  31. It is simple Dennis, a foreign government might be compelled by their own laws to make demands on the Canadian government if we held one of their citizens for violating one of our laws in Canada. Provided we followed our own rules, and complied with international laws, Canada would be perfectly within its rights to ignore those demands.

    The US government does not have to listen to our SC, however the Canadian government is compelled to. We have to ask, they can say no.

    • Well, as far as I see it, our laws don't compel our governments to use our constitution in making requests of foreign governments. Simple, right?

      • The right is always simple Dennis, but within Canada it is the Supreme Court that is, well, supreme in interpreting our laws.

        However, perhaps there is a dennisland somewhere in your head in which no doubt you would have the final say.

  32. I'm shocked that:

    a) People can be this seriously obsessed with a 5-week prorogue;

    b) That someone would seriously think that prorogue has anything to do with this.

    Wow!

  33. Yes, leftists tend to think that the government's position on Khadr is "asinine'. I sure as hope that our judges are more mature and objective about it.

  34. Well said. The SCC is basically begging the government not to make them intervene in foreign affairs. I hope they get their wish, but I'm not confident.

  35. Feel free to disagree with me folks, but would sitting in a prison cell indefinitely for a crime you haven't yet been convicted of fly in the face of not only Canadian law, but also US and International jurisprudence? How many years has one country or another had to charge and try this guy?

  36. If, that is, you're genuinely interested in responses to your queries.

    • Ah yes, questioning the sincerity of those who dare challenge you really bodes well for your own credibility. It just seems to me that some leftists really don't like to be challenged, and get really mad when they are.

  37. Then you're in luck. Not that I agree with your implication that my expression of an opinion on the quality of the government's arguments is any evidence at all of my maturity or objectivity, but yes, our judges are, as a whole, much more mature and objective than you or I. You poopy-face.

    Also, I really wish people would stop assuming I'm a leftist because of my opposition to the actions and policies of the misleadingly named Conservative Party. Emphasizing the importance of constitutionalism and the rule of law are not "leftist" viewpoints; they're Canadian viewpoints. They're the basic viewpoints of Western civilization.

  38. It would fly in the face of Canadian law, but he's not being held in Canada, or facing any charges here. There really isn't any such thing as international jurisprudence on such issues, and certainly nothing binding on the US.
    He is facing trial in the US now – but it is really up to them how they want to deal with him. If you are arrested in another country there is really very little the Canadian government can or will do for you. In this case the intervention of the government under Mr. Chretien and Martin appears to have made things worse for Mr. Khadr, hence the SCC decision. But apart from that, the matter is between him and the US government.

    • "If you are arrested in another country there is really very little the Canadian government can or will do for you."

      Unless you are Brenda Martin?

      ————–
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/politicalbytes/2008

      The federal government was clearly serious when it said it wanted to get Canadian Brenda Martin out of a Mexican jail as quickly as it could.

      Correctional Services Canada chose the speediest — and most expensive — method to transfer Martin to Canada, a Challenger jet.

      How expensive? $82,787.
      ———–

      You'd almost think there was a political calculation made with respect to each and every decision on files like these?

  39. Yeah, but they still have the right to a speedy trial down south, too. Are they still fighting over whether to try him in Military or Civilian court?

    • I believe he is still going before a military tribunal, but I also expect the legal arguments will continue over whether that is appropriate.

  40. No need for trial. He and his family already admitted to being on the side of terrorists

  41. Huh, no need for a trial? Good to know your on the side of the terrorists Tom.

  42. You know, it doesn't bother me if people want to argue that any of the Supreme Court's rulings regarding Khadr were wrongly decided, though it'd be nice if I got the sense that those doing so had any real sense of (or, for that matter, interest in) what those rulings said.

    What bothers me is the implication I see throughout so many posts that the decisions of the Supreme Court don't matter; that the government's actions, or lack thereof, should be undertaken based solely on the government's whim, or on public opinion polls, or whatever, without regard to the decisions of the body charged with being the ultimate arbiter of the Canadian state's most basic laws.

    Please, please let me be wrong about this. The Canadian polity still respects our constitutional order, right? Constitutionalism and the rule of law are still more important than policy disagreements and petty partisan politicking… right?

  43. The Canadian polity still respects our constitutional order, right? Constitutionalism and the rule of law are still more important than policy disagreements and petty partisan politicking… right?

    I used to think so, but more and more I'm beginning to believe that our government doesn't really feel particularly bound by the constitution.

  44. The fundamental flaw in Stephen Harper is his lack of respect for process and consequences when he has set a particular goal in mind.

    Prorogations, (especially the first one), ignoring his election law are perhaps the most obvious examples, but there are numerous others. The gain for Harper on this issue is minuscule. The only people really passionate about keeping Khadr in the US are the small, (but very vocal) subset of bigots that occupy part of his core. As the poll shows, lots of other Canadians have issues with repatriating Khadr, but I see no evidence that this is an important issue for them. So what Harper actually gains is a few more donations from the kind of people he most likely would never let in his house.

    There is no political cost to Harper for repatriating Khadr. It was under Chretien's watch that the rights violations occurred and he now has the cover of a SC decision to protect himself from his core. Still it is not what he wants. So to get what he wants, he appears to be determined to take that last step to make Canadian Prime Ministers "dictators between elections" and push the SC into setting foreign policy.

    Conservatives that can stomach this are not conservatives they are toadies.

    • It's unfortunate he didn't pick up on the lessons of process and populism as a Reformer, they'd do him a whole lot of good now.

      Your point about forcing the SCC into setting foreign policy seems a bit dramatic, but it makes me wonder if Harper isn't doing this intentionally, in an effort to show how "activist" judges are "ruining" this country. I really hope I'm wrong.

      @NSC: The rule of law is definitely important…I'm just not convinced enough of our political leadership put partisanship and constitutional democracy on the same playing field. I always thought that responsible government required that democracy and partisanship learn to play together (as it were)…that doesn't seem to be happening anymore.

  45. In the SCOC ruling they stop short of ordering the Canadian government ta ask the Americans to send Khadr home. That`s how it shoud be. If we wanted the courts to determine our relations with other sovereign nations, then we would elect Supreme Court Justices to govern us.

  46. The point here is the rule of law. Whether you agree or disagreeThe Supreme Court has ruled and the government should conduct itself accordingly. Charles I died on the scaffolding outside the Banqueting Hall to bring to an end the suggestion that the sovereign lay above the law.

  47. In fact, it seems to me that the Supreme Court is on the verge of establishing foreign policy, which I thought was always the purview of the elected government of the day. If the government's actions in this matter do indeed violate the conscience of most Canadians, as many of you say, then isn't the political process the way to express such will, and not the courts? Yeah, I know, a 5-week prorogue in late winter makes it all so impossible to achieve.

  48. The government has never stated it was above the law. It quite rightly took the position that matters of foreign relations were not subject generally to direction by the courts. The SCC agreed with that position. So it would, in fact, have been wrong for the government to simply follow the lower court orders – and set a very bad precedent.

    The government has not formally responded to the SCC decision. There is no time fram set by the court to require such a response. One assumes the court understands the complexity of the situation – as well as the limited ability the government has to actually accomplish anything to help Mr. Khadr, if the US does not wish to cooperate. So far the government's response has been what any responsible government's would be – they are considering their options. As is their right.

    (Of course poor King Charles was replaced by a hideous theocratic dictatorship in which the rule of law ceased to mean anything)

  49. Dennis_F… I agree.
    So many bleeding hearts whining about big mean Stephen Harper and the rest of the inhumane conservative bullies. Every time someone who just happened to be born on our soil is accused of a crime in another country, these lefties want to bring them home and coddle and protect them from the real world out there.
    Someday we'll return to Liberal rule and I worry about what they'll turn this country into, with the leadership prospects (or lack thereof) they have in the ranks now. Truly frightening really…

  50. You are so very wrong. Not just in your assumption that I'm a leftist, but in thinking that I don't want to be challenged, and in ascribing anger to me (when what I really feel is exasperation). I want very much to be challenged, which is why I'm here putting my arguments out in the open. I'm still waiting for those challenges.

    I've posted my arguments. I can't help but notice that those aren't the posts you're responding to.

  51. You deliberately questioned my motives. Right? Next.

  52. It seems that because he allegedly killed an american soldier he should be tried in U.S.A. If he is exonerated, then he should be returned to Canada.

  53. Not to get involved in an internet P***ing contest, but the problem isn't whether or not Canadian law applies to Canadians held abroad (it doesn't), the problem is that CSIS interrogated him and aided the US in their torture of him. By doing this, the Canadian government violated his rights. The issue now isn't so much if he is guilty or not, it's whether or not he was treated fairly.

    As for foreign policy, if a Canadian citizen is arrested abroad, Canada is able to make a request to the arresting nation to extradite that individual for trial in Canada. It is then up to that nation to accept or deny that request. In general Canada is known to let it's citizens face their fate where ever they are arrested.

    A few cases of Canada allowing citizens to be held abroad:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/731580-

    http://www.iran-press-service.com/ips/articles-20

  54. It dosenot matter whether you are a Canadian or not
    If you commit a crime in any country outside of canada you have to face the law of that country
    I can remember years ago A British & a Australian citizen was sentence to hang in Malaysia for trafficiking Drugs
    The Queen apppeal to Malaysian Gov't .In the end they were hanged
    that is the law of the country

  55. Good points.

    The court's concern is that the Canadian government, but interrogating Mr. Khadr, contributed to his ongoing detention. In Canada a breach of charter rights like that could be remedied by excluding the evidence from trial. In extreme cases a court could order charges stayed, but they tend not to go to that extreme. So applying the analogy here, the government's obligations would be fulfilled if they asked the US not to use the information that was gathered contrary to the Charter.

    If the US agrees, that would seem to solve the matter – at least as far as the charter breach is concerned. If they don't agree, then it would seem there is nothing much else the Canadian government can do – other than, I suppose, wait for the inevitable civil lawsuit.

  56. Well, then let him be tried for murder, don't let him sit in a jail cell indefinitely.

    The SCC ruling wasn't about extraditing Khadr, specifically – the court noted it wasn't about to throw its weight around in the arena of foreign policy. What it could rule on: whether Khadr's rights had been violated by officials acting on behalf of the Canadian Government. They did, and they found in Khadr's favour, and they gave the government the opportunity to remedy that violation. The government has ruled out the possibility of an extradition remedy.

  57. It is a matter of discretion – and often political pressure comes to play. I perhaps should have said the governement can do little until a conviction has been made – and depending on the existence of suitable agreements with the country in which the Canadian has been imprisoned. Of course a sympathetic story will get more political attention than an unsympathetic one. Ms. Martin's story was, of course, siezed on by a crowd of political media hounds and the government responded in kind. The issues were, however, a little different – and the transfer of convicted criminals back to Canada to serve the balance of their sentences (like Conrad Black's partner) is routine. Mr. Khadr's case is, as his supporters always say, unique. So the government's response is unique as well.

  58. What they are saying is that they are the arbiters of foreign policy, which seems a sensible thing to say really.

    As for responding to the SCC decision, they haven't said they won't respond, they've just indicated their response would not include a request that Mr. Khadr be returned here right now. There appear to be a number of options for the government that would comply with the SCC decision. Given that the breach of Mr. Khadr's charter rights stems not from his incarceration, but from the participation in his interrogation by agents of the previous government, the current government might "cure" that breach by obtaining an agreement from the US that the results of the Canadian interrogation will not be used in the proceedings against Mr. Khadr. They haven't said yet whether they will do that. And, of course, the US hasn't indicated if they would comply with any requests on this matter from any Canadian goverment.

    • I agree that other mechanisms of remedy might be available to the government, that was why I said "poised". You will note however the quote from the Justice Minister,

      (“It's exactly the same decision that we have taken since the outset of this incident,” Lawrence Cannon told reporters.)

      is certainly consistent with maintaining the status quo. Also, while they were very quick and public to rule out asking for repatriation, the government has not to my knowledge stated that they will provide remediation.

      So since the government has not acted, not stated it will act and implied that it will not… I think they are "poised" to do something rather awful wrt the rights of Canadian citizens.

      For the record, I agree the SC should try to stay out of foreign policy. While a secondary issue, if the government does not provide a quick and effective remediation, the SC ruling stated they would feel compelled to act even given their collective misgivings about their foreign policy expertise. Why would any "right" thinking Conservative want to see that president established?

      • I believe there a good many Right Thinking Conservatives who believe they do have a president established.

        (I know it was just a typo. but really couldn't resist.)

        • As the frog might say, nice catch Froby.

  59. You are correct in that the charter doesn't apply overseas generally. In this case the court said it did, because of the involvement of CSIS agents who interrogated Mr. Khadr. If they had not done so, and if the previous government had simply let the American process unfold, I don't think there would be any grounds on which Mr. Khadr could have invoked his charter rights. Certainly the courts have never upheld a general charter right of Canadians to have the government intervene on their behalf when charged overseas with crimes, athough they may have some right to have normal consular services provided (which do not extend to demands that all Canadians charged overseas be flown home for trial here).

  60. I'm not a lawyer but I suspect the key factor here is that Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen. All the other countries who had their citizens in Gitmo have brought them home to face a real court of justice (Britain, Australia, …). Yet another case (like our environmental "policy") where the Conservatives making Canada the exception should be a national embarrassment.

  61. So, then, why doesn't Sharia Law apply to foreign Muslims arrested in Canada? Mike R's explanation did seem too technicality-based. Knew that ideology had to belong in the decision somewhere. Thanks.

  62. They're allowed to have whatever opinion they want.

    That doesn't change whether it's wrong or not.

  63. They don't think they're wrong. I don' t think they're wrong. Most Canadians don't think they're wrong. Only the left seems to think they're wrong.

    • Continuing to tow that line that whatever the government things is "not wrong" and everyone who disagrees is "left" or "leftist" or "Liberal" is a dangerous game; in so doing you run the risk of alienating your base by going off on self-righteous tangents.

      Even people who like you will get peeved if you continually assume you know what's right and what's wrong for everyone else.

  64. But without the involvement of Canadian officials, the Charter would have played no role. If you are arrested, for example, smuggling heroin into Singapore, it will do you no good to quote the charter. Generally speaking, Canadians arrested and held overseas have the right to consular services, but the government has no obligation to intervene to attempt to impose our standards on foreign courts (although, as in the case of established policy on such matters as asking for leniency in death-penalty cases they may have an obligation to apply such policy uniformly).

    But the Charter only applies to actions of Canadian governments and officials. In the absence of such actions it an't be used to force the government to inteverne in other countries no matter how egregious their behaviour. If CSIS had not intervened in Mr. Khadr's case I don't see how the court would have found any basis to apply the Charter. The mere fact of his citizenship is not enough.

  65. Figures a Harper supporter would like to have someone jailed for expressing a thought.

  66. So courts are the only institutions in society that decide if something is right or wrong? I'd try again, dude.

    • They are the final arbiters. By definition, actually.

  67. Well why did you say exactly that then?

    At least have the stones to stand up to what you believe.

    • Anon, you have reading comprehension problems, 'should be" as in my opinion, no where did I say that there should not be charges and a trial, but Khadr "should" be found guilty in my opinion.

      And it's "stand up for what you believe".

  68. oops, thumb hit space bar……………………….nowhere

  69. Yes, I did, because your motives struck me as questionable. But I honestly didn't intend to hurt your feelings. If I apologize, will you respond to something I've said that isn't about you? I would very much like that.

  70. The Supreme Court made a decision, that's all that matters. It should make no difference what the alleged crime was, the rule of law has to prevail or we might as well abolish the Supreme Court, it's that simple. Any point/s of view beyond that is just a reflection of what side of the political fence you are on, those views have no legal meaning.

  71. Death to Omar Khadr! Any Canadian who wants to have him on our soil can come and see me. I will gladly treat you as I would him: A TERRORIST. Bring it on!!!