Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pressing their luck

Apparently CSIS is going to need a few more slap downs:
Canada's spy service has ceased tapping calls between lawyers and suspected foreign terrorists detained under national security certificates in light of a judge's ruling in one four such cases, an agency spokesman said Tuesday.

However, it would be up to each judge presiding over the three other cases to formally decide whether the service should resume monitoring such solicitor-client calls, said John Dunn, with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. (emphasis added)
Well, I'm sure it's just a matter of time before Mr. Dunn will hear from those judges as well given that all lawyers in these cases have been described as "incensed."  It's likely that the result will be the same, that they're to stop breaching solicitor-client privilege.  The first court order should have been a pretty firm indication to them to give it up.  Instead, they seem bent on pressing the boundaries here, feigning ignorance of the obvious protected nature of solicitor-client calls:
A government official suggested the conflicting point of view was based on a different understanding of what had been consented to.

"We did assume that it was all communications," a government official, who asked not to be identified, said Tuesday.

"I guess on the other side it was assumed it didn't include all communications but on our side it was (assumed it did)."
And that is the problem. One assumption is reasonable and justifiable.  The other is unreasonable and offensive to a paramount legal right. They're not equivalent "oopsie" assumptions, despite the remarkable spectacle of CSIS spinning their breaching of solicitor-client privilege.