MEDIA ADVISORY: Supreme Court of Canada to release judgment in case on migrant detainees’ rights to challenge their incarceration

Posted on

Thursday, May 9, 2019
For immediate release

OTTAWA – On Friday, May 10, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada will release its judgement in Canada (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) v. Chhina (SCC File No. 37770), a case which considers the availability of the writ habeas corpus for those being held in immigration detention for lengthy and uncertain periods of time.

Habeas corpus” is a legal provision that allows anyone being held in custody the right to challenge their detention before a judge. Currently migrants who do not hold Canadian citizenship can only challenge immigration detention through an immigration tribunal or a judicial review. These processes have been criticized for being incomplete and unfair.

The BC Civil Liberties Association intervened in the case to argue that on the importance of habeas corpus to the rule of law, which is enshrined in the Charter. It gives detainees a simple and effective mechanism for challenging the lawfulness of their detention and a means of holding the state to account. The BCCLA’s argument is available here: 

The BCCLA is represented in this case by Frances Mahon, Frances Mahon Law. Colleen Bauman of Goldblatt Partners LLP is the BCCLA’s Ottawa agent.


WHAT:                      Supreme Court of Canada release judgment Chhina case

WHEN:                      Friday, May 10 at 6:45 am PT/ 9:45 am ET.

WHERE:                   Supreme Court of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)

WHO:                         Frances Mahon, Lawyer for the BCCLA, will be available for comment at 604-910-8479 or [email protected].

(Please note that Ms. Mahon will be unavailable during these times: 8-9 am; 10:30-11 am; and 2-4 pm PT/ 11 am-12pm; 1:30-2 pm; 5-7 pm ET.)