Ottawa – On Thursday, October 10, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear arguments in Minister of Citizenship and Immigration et al. v. Mohamed Harkat, et al. The BCCLA is an intervener in the case.
The case focuses on the security certificate process which is used by the government to detain or remove non-citizens believed to be a threat to national security. The Court will consider whether the procedural protections in the security certificate process are adequate. In 2007, the Court struck down an earlier version of the regime for being unconstitutional.
The BCCLA will argue that the current security certificate process fails to provide adequate procedural protections and therefore violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A person named in a security certificate faces prolonged or indefinite detention or removal from Canada. Yet, despite these serious consequences, the government can rely on secret evidence – never seen by the person in question – in the hearing to validate security certificates. The BCCLA will argue that a hearing process which allows a person to be detained indefinitely on the basis of “secret” evidence is unacceptable. The Association will also argue that, even with the appointment of a “special advocate” to represent the interests of the person, the liberty interests at stake are so imnportant that the current process is unconstitutional.
The BCCLA is represented in this case by Nader Hasan and Gerald Chan of Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan Barristers.
What: Supreme Court of Canada will hear oral arguments in Minister of Citizenship and Immigration et al. v. Mohamed Harkat, et al.
When: Oral arguments begin on Thursday, October 10 at 6:30 am PST / 9:30 am EST
Where: Supreme Court of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)
Who: Lawyers for the BCCLA available for comment