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Supreme Court of Canada to rule on disclosure of Canadians’ private communications to foreign authorities

For immediate release

Ottawa – The Supreme Court of Canada will release its decision on Friday, November 14, 2014 in Wakeling et al. v. Canada on behalf of the U.S.A et al. The BCCLA is an intervener in the case.

The case considers whether transmitting private communications collected with judicial authorization in Canada to foreign authorities violates sections 7 and 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The case involves a request by the United States of America to extradite the appellant Mr. Wakeling, a resident of Canada. The U.S. extradition request is based on wiretap evidence that was collected as part of a covert Canadian criminal investigation and then disclosed to the U.S. by authorities in Canada pursuant to s. 193(2)(e) of the Criminal Code.

The BCCLA argued that section 193(2)(e) of the Criminal Code violates s. 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The section permits near-limitless disclosure of Canadian private communications to investigators or prosecutors in a foreign country. Police can disclose intercepted private communications to an official in a foreign state even if the disclosure is only in the interests of the administration of justice in that foreign jurisdiction – not in Canada’s interests. There is no oversight of the disclosure: no judicial authorization is required, consent is not sought, notice need not be provided and there is no reporting or monitoring mechanism.

The BCCLA is represented by Michael Feder and Emily MacKinnon of McCarthy Tétrault.

The BCCLA’s argument in this case is available here >>

  • What: Supreme Court of Canada to deliver its judgment in Wakeling et al. v. Canada on behalf of the U.S.A et al
    When: Reasons for judgment will be delivered on Friday, October 10, 2014 at 6:45am PST / 9:45am EST
    Where: Supreme Court of Canada (Ottawa, ON)
    Who: Representatives of the BCCLA available for comment