Sunday, December 9, 2007

Secret Trials, Secret Evidence, Indefinite Detention

Scott Neight has some important posts on this issue. Here, here, and here. The last quotes the Toronto Star's Thomas Walkom:

How casually we take civil rights. A Commons committee is examining the government's plan to fix an unconstitutional law that allows it to lock up non-citizens indefinitely without charge. But committee members won't let lawyers for the six men detained under this law appear before them because –given a tight February deadline set by the Supreme Court, plus the six weeks of Christmas holidays that MPs allow themselves – there just isn't enough time.

What else can you say?

1 comment:

Scott said...

Just as a sort of update...there was a small extension of the committee hearings to allow for three token witnesses from among the many groups that have spoken out about the issue. However, the government still seems set on pushing the legislation through in a way that minimizes any chance of a real debate developing -- that is, any debate that includes serious consideration of abolishing secret trials. The Liberals seem set to support the legislation, a few backbenchers aside, though exerting pressure on them is important.

As one person who has worked on this issue for years wrote in an email: "I think MPs need to continually hear from us and demand that they answer the question: how they can support two tier justice, which is what the new (and old) legislation represents. How can they support indefinite detention without charge on secret evidence and deportation to torture? It is that simple. Special advocates will make no difference, because they do not address the fundamentally flawed and unfair nature of the process. The idea that we can 'amend' the legislation is like arguing that shackle-free Sundays will make passage of a slave law okay."