The biggest ‘but’ in Canadian judicial history
By Gar Pardy
The Supreme Court has spoken its last words on Omar Khadr. Regrettably it is a political decision and one that has little to do with justice, fundamental or temporal. Surprisingly all nine justices joined in the decision which gave pre-eminence to the government’s absolute power over foreign affairs. There is no joy for Khadr whatsoever in this decision and equally important there is no joy for Canadians who encounter serious difficulty in foreign countries.
Khadr’s future is now left to the mercies of the federal government which has not demonstrated either mercy or compassion.
Sadly his future is now in the hands of the vicissitudes of the U.S. government which, since the Obama administration came into office, has talked a good talk for the inmates of Guantanamo; however, it has lost its way on its plans for corrective actions. Fundamental justice for the victims of Guantanamo is part of the wreckage of America’s ineffective policies in correcting the horrors of previous American policies on terrorism.
Khadr has been no stranger to the Canadian courts, having now been the subject of four earlier cases in the Federal Court of Canada. In all of the previous cases, the courts have risen above the narrow parochial security and foreign policy issues and have provided Khadr and Canadians with ringing endorsements of the rule of law and the importance of the person in our society.
Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/yhf6k4a