The r-word -

The r-word


The word “rendition” was thrown around a bit yesterday during Question Period, directly as a result of Friday night’s report from CBC. This is both a phrase loaded with implication and the title of a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon.

For a more scholarly perspective, there is this paper, prepared by the Library of Parliament. “Extraordinary rendition” is defined there as follows.

States dealing with individuals suspected of terrorist or other criminal activities and that wish to transfer the suspect from one state to another for arrest, detention, or interrogation generally have two broad possibilities available to them: extradition and rendition. Extradition is the technique more commonly used, in which a state surrenders a person within its jurisdiction to another state through a formal legal process outlined in legislation and an extradition treaty.

However, transfers of suspects from one state to another may sometimes take place “extrajudicially” – outside the law. This process is known as “rendition” and generally implies that transferred suspects have no access to the judicial system of the sending state to challenge their transfer. Since 11 September 2001, particular controversy has arisen over allegations of renditions carried out in order that harsh interrogation techniques (torture) prohibited under the sending country’s laws may be applied to the suspect in another country where the laws are less strict.(1) Such transfers are known as “extraordinary renditions.”(2)


The r-word

  1. So is the whole question of parliamentary supremacy dead then? Just asking.

    • Apparently so since our Opposition isn't worth a damn!

      • It may be a tad premature to say that yet. We'l know more when we see the terms of reference of the justice, and whether a PI is emphatically ruled out. But, i don't like this either…it should be a PI or bust. Personally i wouldn't be unhappy to see the whole affair return to a reconstituted MCC…but that ignored order rankles. Maybe we're a little naive to put our trust in any politician going to bat for an institution none of them seem to really respect. This would not have been stood for as little a time ago as the 60's, and possibily well into the 80's.

        • respedctfully KCM acceptance of anything less than turning over the documents, underacted, as will make clear that the oppositions' intention to defend the supremacy of parliament is dead. parliaments motion did not include a JI or PI as an acceptable alternative to the provision of documents. and the longer Lee waits the bigger the sinking feeling….

          • PMSH would make Lee's motion a vote of confidence, and rightly so.

          • disagree. brinksmanship is not good governance.

          • Perhaps i wasn't very clear, or perhaps i just want it both ways. But i am ticked the PO is still in outstanding. I'd much rather the order is complied with, but isn't a public inquiry in essence fulfilling this order? Perhaps not? Certainly if they get an inquiry a parliamentary censure, or whatever is appropriate, is called for. Again, it may be too late now to simply accept a reconstitution of the MCC as adequate. As i've sais elsewhere i fully support parliament's demands to see whatever it wants – with appropriate safeguards of course.

          • EFL has it all correct below here KCM. I don't see the oublic inquiry unto itself as sufficient, because it does not fully comply with all the demands made in the orders to date (i.e., it does not explicitly provide parl with the docs; it does not formerly acknowledge the supremacy of the House).

    • Lee/libs/ndp waiting to see if Iaco gambit is good faith. House works on assumption of honourable gentlemen, and Govt of Day allowed benefit of doubt. We know it is not, but they must act as if it might be. If Nicholson response to "parameters" question too long, then can introduce contempt motion in good faith – Speaker won't hear it while waiting… See More for "timely" Govt reply. A week would be typical. So if nothing by this Th/Fr, then contempt back on. And even if by Th/Fr, or early next week, if Iaco does not equal complete production of ordered docs, bad faith also, so contempt back on. And Lee/Libs/NDP/Bloc, even if docs produced, still require recognition from Govt that Parl IS Supreme, and has unfettered right to docs, witnesses, etc..
      See Lee response to Nicholson here:
      And see O'Malley correct commentary on recent events here:

      • That sounds entirely reasonable.

  2. If you study Lee's response to Nicholson, recognition of Parliamentary Supremacy remains a core issue, which no Inquiry resolves, in and of itself. At a very weak minimum, it would need, as Lee asked, a Govt statement recognising Parliamentary Supremacy, along with an inquiry, and that is as weak a minimum as you're gonna get. What we need are really two things: recognition of Parliamentary Supremacy through production of uncensored docs as ordered, and an inquiry, as per the NDP motion of Dec. 01, supported by Libs & Bloc. Motion:
    Oh, and of course, a motion of censure of the Govt for going rogue and ignoring an Order of Parliament for over three months and counting. But that, along with an Inquiry and a Govt statement from AG/PM recognising Parl Supremacy, is an incredibly weak and generous minimum on behalf of Parliament. Still, it upholds minimal standards of parliamentary honour.