Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Two Different Supreme Courts....Two Very Different Cases...

.....One Strangely Congruent Core Issue


First there is the case(s) before the US Supreme Court:

The US Supreme Court is deciding whether inmates at Guantanamo Bay camp should have the right to contest their detention in US civilian courts.

Two cases challenge the removal by Congress of the "habeas corpus" right of detainees under the US constitution to be heard by an independent judge.

Then there is the case before the British Columbia Supreme Court:

The results of a secret B.C. Supreme Court hearing that excluded both the media and public in the case of three provincial government aides charged with breach of trust, fraud and money laundering will be announced Thursday.

Justice Elizabeth Bennett said yesterday she will decide whether even defence lawyers and defendants David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi will be allowed to hear secret material to be presented by the Crown in an in-camera application.

So, where's 'congruency', you might be asking?

And you might even be muttering something under your breath about how it's ridiculous to even think about comparing the plight of the accused in the RailGate Trial to that the Guantanamo Bay detainees.

And you might even be right, on the face of it.

But, having said all that, you may wich togo back and read that lasted bolded sentence regarding what BC Supreme Court justice Bennett said about 'secret material' again and who might NOT get to see it.

And then read this extra tidbit from Mr. T., Bill Tieleman, posted on his blog:

Michael Bolton, lawyer for David Basi, was concerned about possible exclusion of defendants and their legal counsel.

"It goes well beyond an in-camera hearing. It's very, very, very unusual to the point of being almost an unconscionable concept to exclude the accused person from part of his trial," Bolton said outside court Monday.



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