készíti: Gellért Ádám
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“The only necessary for "evil" to triumph is for a few good men to do nothing”

2010. február 9., kedd

Kanada - nemzetközi jog alkalmazása - Guantanamo

A kanadai legfelsőbb bíróság előző heti döntése egy újabb fejezet a guantanamói foglyok immárom tragikomikussá fajuló jogi drámájában.

A Canada (Prime Minister) v. Khadr, 2010 SCC 3 (January 29, 2010) döntés alapján nagyon érzékletesen látszik, hogy mi történik, ha az egyik hatalmi ágnak, itt a kanadai kormánynak, nem akaródzik teljesíteni (nemzetközi) jogi kötelezettségét. Hatalmi ágak szétválasztása 2.0 a headnote alapján:

K, a Canadian, has been detained by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2002, when he was a minor. In 2004, he was charged with war crimes, but the U.S. trial is still pending. In 2003, agents from two Canadian intelligence services, CSIS and DFAIT, questioned K on matters connected to the charges pending against him, and shared the product of these interviews with U.S. authorities. In 2004, a DFAIT official interviewed K again, with knowledge that he had been subjected by U.S. authorities to a sleep deprivation technique, known as the “frequent flyer program”, to make him less resistant to interrogation. In 2008, in Khadr v. Canada (“Khadr 2008”), this Court held that the regime in place at Guantanamo Bay constituted a clear violation of Canada’s international human rights obligations, and, under s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, ordered the Canadian government to disclose to K the transcripts of the interviews he had given to CSIS and DFAIT, which it did. After repeated requests by K that the Canadian government seek his repatriation, the Prime Minister announced his decision not to do so. K then applied to the Federal Court for judicial review, alleging that the decision violated his rights under s. 7 of the Charter. The Federal Court held that under the special circumstances of this case, Canada had a duty to protect K under s. 7 of the Charter and ordered the government to request his repatriation. The Federal Court of Appeal upheld the order, but stated that the s. 7 breach arose from the interrogation conducted in 2004 with the knowledge that K had been subjected to the “frequent flyer program”.

Held: The appeal should be allowed in part.

Canada actively participated in a process contrary to its international human rights obligations and contributed to K’s ongoing detention so as to deprive him of his right to liberty and security of the person, guaranteed by s. 7 of the Charter, not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. Though the process to which K is subject has changed, his claim is based upon the same underlying series of events considered in Khadr 2008. As held in that case, the Charter applies to the participation of Canadian officials in a regime later found to be in violation of fundamental rights protected by international law. There is a sufficient connection between the government’s participation in the illegal process and the deprivation of K’s liberty and security of the person. While the U.S. is the primary source of the deprivation, it is reasonable to infer from the uncontradicted evidence before the Court that the statements taken by Canadian officials are contributing to K’s continued detention. The deprivation of K’s right to liberty and security of the person is not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. The interrogation of a youth detained without access to counsel, to elicit statements about serious criminal charges while knowing that the youth had been subjected to sleep deprivation and while knowing that the fruits of the interrogations would be shared with the prosecutors, offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects.

K is entitled to a remedy under s. 24(1) of the Charter. The remedy sought by K — an order that Canada request his repatriation — is sufficiently connected to the Charter breach that occurred in 2003 and 2004 because of the continuing effect of this breach into the present and its possible effect on K’s ultimate trial. While the government must have flexibility in deciding how its duties under the royal prerogative over foreign relations are discharged, the executive is not exempt from constitutional scrutiny. Courts have the jurisdiction and the duty to determine whether a prerogative power asserted by the Crown exists; if so, whether its exercise infringes the Charter or other constitutional norms; and, where necessary, to give specific direction to the executive branch of the government. Here, the trial judge misdirected himself in ordering the government to request K’s repatriation, in view of the constitutional responsibility of the executive to make decisions on matters of foreign affairs and the inconclusive state of the record. The appropriate remedy in this case is to declare that K’s Charter rights were violated, leaving it to the government to decide how best to respond in light of current information, its responsibility over foreign affairs, and the Charter.

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