Friday, August 14, 2009

Booya for the Federal Court of Appeal

Got to love the Federal Court these days, providing a consistent check on the Harper government's, ahem, tendencies: "Feds must seek Khadr's return: appeal court." A 2-1 decision which the Prime Minister labelled a "split" decision, immediately reaching yet again for one more way to kick the file down the road in spite of two levels of the court now telling him that the government is wrong in refusing to request repatriation. That dissent will likely be combed over by the Department of Justice, with instructions from on high, for grounds for appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. But it's not looking good for the Conservatives on this file. The unique facts pertinent to Khadr's case, with Canadian officials having participated in an interrogation tainted by torture and Khadr's youth are what are key. And it appears that the Appeal Court recognized this, finding that this was indeed a narrow case, as the lower court judge had framed it:
The Appeal Court also rejected the Crown’s argument that O'Reilly's ruling was a serious intrusion into the conduct of Canada’s foreign affairs.

"In the unusual circumstances of this case, it was reasonable for [the judge] to conclude that being ordered to make such a request of a close ally is a relatively small intrusion into the conduct of international relations," the Appeal Court wrote.
Have yet to read this decision, hopefully later tonight with perhaps some thoughts to come. But this is good news for today.