Supreme Court of Canada strikes down "unconstitutional" anti-terror legislation

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Supreme Court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled unanimously 9-0, in favour of a ruling that overturns controversial anti-terror legislation that allowed the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to indefinitely detain suspects without revealing the reason for their arrest or detention.

The judgement, summarised by Justice Beverley McLachlin in the ruling, gave Parliament a one year grace period to create new legislation that will fall within Canada's constitution and Charter.

The CSIS security certificates have caused five Canadians to spend years in prison since the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States - accused of ties to terrorism, but without trial, and not even allowed to be informed of the evidence against them for reasons of national security.

The certificates only target Canadians who do not hold citizenship, such as landed immigrants and refugees.

The three Canadian detainees who took their cause to the Supreme Court last June include Algerian-born Mohamed Harkat from Ottawa, Syrian-born Hassan Almrei from Toronto and Moroccan-born Adil Charkaoui from the University of Montreal. The ruling also applies to Egyptian-born Canadians Mahmoud Jaballah and Mohammad Mahjoub, both residents of Toronto.


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