International Rule of Law Shows Some Teeth


There was a time in this fair land when beating an extradition beef was not so difficult. You could attack the case against you and get the moral high ground.  In recent years that has changed and, if you are in Canada and a foreign government wants you, it's just a matter of time. Nothing short of the death penalty or a shocking abuse of process is required. It doesn't matter how weak the case or how corrupt the government.

In this context, it is interesting to see Justice Christopher Speyer of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice quash the extradition request for Abdullah Khadr. Justice Speyer ruled that the illegal arrest and detention and interrogation of Khadr, a violation of international law,  required the extraordinary remedy of refusing the American request to extradite him.

Khadr is unquestionably a terrorist and member of Al Qaeda. The Americans lose an opportunity to bring him to justice because of their own complete disregard for justice and the rule of law. It ain't pretty but that is how these things are supposed to work. It is the golden thread that runs through societies founded on, and concerned with preserving, the rule of law. And the decision is made by an independent arbiter. The check on their illegal behaviour is public. And, get this, it is made in a duly constituted and constitutionally sound court of law.

Such shocking innovation in the great white north. - Beta



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