The BC Civil Liberties Association is calling upon the federal government to immediately amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in light of the decision yesterday of the Federal Court in Jaballah v. Canada.
Mr. Jaballah has been detained since 2001 under the Security Certificate provisions of the IRPA. These provisions permit the federal government to detain those it considers a danger to the security of Canada without basic due process protections. These provisions permit the government to use secret evidence and deport individuals in spite of a risk of torture.
BCCLA President Jason Gratl: “Our Association is on record calling for major reform of the Security Certificate process to bring it into compliance with Charter protections and Canada’s obligations to oppose the use of torture in all contexts. This decision only underscores the urgent need for such reform. We expect to be at the Supreme Court of Canada in June as intervenors in a case testing the constitutionality of Security Certificates. In the meantime, we urge the Canadian government to move to shut the door permanently and unequivocally to ever deporting prisoners to torture.”
In yesterday’s decision, Mr. Justice MacKay of the Federal Court ruled that the decision by the federal government that Mr. Jaballah is not in need of protection because of evidence that he constitutes a risk to the security of Canada to be reasonable. Neither Mr. Jaballah’s lawyers, nor independent lawyers, have access to this evidence and are effectively unable to challenge it. Justice MacKay made his decision in spite of the fact that the federal government itself has determined that Mr. Jaballah would face torture and death if deported to his native Egypt.