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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Terrorism and the administration of justice in Canada Diab, Robert


This thesis explores ways in which perspectives in Canada on the administration of justice have shifted after September 11, 2001, in criminal and administrative law. The introductory chapter sets out the general context of my thesis, including a discussion of the development of due process and constitutional rights, and a brief comparison between American, British and Canadian legislative responses to 9 /11. Chapter 2 concerns the context, in which the Canadian Anti-terrorism Act (2001) was drafted, the government's understanding of its purpose and function, and critical reception of the Act. In the face of considerable skepticism, the government (and a minority of sympathetic figures) insisted upon the consistency of the Act with the Canadian Charier of Rights and Freedoms, and argued that it struck a balance between individual and communal interests in a new yet appropriate fashion. Chapter 3 focuses on judicial responses to anti-terror legislation, including provisions dealings with 'security certificate' detentions; the deportation of terrorist suspects to face the risk of torture; and provisions of the Anti- terrorism Act. The cases suggest a general tendency to justify or rationalize departures, from traditional notions of due process, constitutionalism and 'fundamental justice' (in section 7 of the Charter) as appropriate, balanced, and normal. Chapter 4 addresses the problem of accountability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies in light of the post-9/11 amendments to the Canada Evidence Act that significantly expand the scope of state secrecy and privilege in 'national security' matters.

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