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Supreme Court of Canada to rule on case of Libyan dissident who was denied permanent residency

Ottawa – The Supreme Court of Canada will release its decision on Thursday, June 20, 2013 in Muhsen Ahemed Ramadan Agraira v. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Mushen Ahemed Ramadan Agraira married a Canadian woman in 1997 and applied to the government to be allowed to settle in Canada. Mr. Agraira did not hide the fact that he once belonged to a group dedicated to the overthrow of Libya’s tyrant dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The government denied Mr. Agraira ‘s application to live in Canada, finding him to be inadmissible to Canada on the basis that there were grounds to believe that Mr. Agraira belonged to a terrorist organization.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act allows applicants to avoid being considered inadmissible to Canada if they can convince the Minister their presence in Canada “would not be detrimental to the national interest.” Mr. Agraira applied for “ministerial relief”, arguing that he should be allowed to live in Canada. The Canada Border Services Agency recommended that relief be granted to Mr. Agraira. However, then-public safety minister Peter Van Loan rejected the request.

The BCCLA is an intervener in the case. The BCCLA argued that the Minister should weigh human rights, civil liberties and broader Charter values when determining the national interest in a decision about allowing someone to stay in Canada. The decision should include a thorough assessment and balancing of all factors relevant to the national interest, not just national security and public safety.

The BCCLA is represented by Jill Copeland and Colleen Bauman of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP.

The BCCLA’s argument in the case is available here.

What: Supreme Court of Canada will deliver its decision in Agraira case
Reasons for judgment will be delivered on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 6:45 am PST / 9:45 am EST.
Where: Supreme Court of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)
Who: Representatives from the BCCLA available for comment