Canada’s Top Court Will Hear Guantanamo Inmate’s Case

by Julian Ku

Canada’s Supreme Court ruled yesterday that it would hear a claim brought by Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who is currently being detained at Guantanamo Bay and who is scheduled for trial in a U.S. military commission. The court did not completely reject the Canadian government’s non-justiciability arguments, which are that a Canadian court cannot sit in judgment of U.S. government actions outside of Canada. But it refused to find non-justiciability at this stage of the proceedings. The Court obviously cannot issue an order to the U.S. government, but it can find that the Canadian government violated the Canadian Charter and international law by assisting and cooperating with U.S. authorities at Guantanamo Bay. Canada has never asked for Khadr’s repatriation and it has had agents interview Khadr at Guantanamo. I don’t know much about Canada’s Supreme Court procedure, so I look forward to any comments from more knowledgeable readers about where the case goes from here.

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