Friday, May 23, 2008

Two Notes Of Caution On Today's Omar Khadr Ruling...


While our Supreme Court has done much that is admirable, it's not quite all good for Mr. Khadr's defense and the rule of law in Canuckistan today.

Point 1:
....(A) lawyer for Mr. Khadr – Nathan Whitling – said that the decision does not go far enough. What the Khadr defence now needs most, he said, is a U.S. military report of the battle that took place on the day Mr. Khadr was arrested, and which were shared with Canadian authorities.

"The U.S. government claims to have somehow misplaced it," Mr. Whitling said in an interview. "The only way to get that report was to get it from Canada. We requested everything, but unfortunately, the Supreme Court has not gone far enough today."

Point 2, and this is potentially a big one:
In its ruling, the Supreme Court specifically instructed the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Canada, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to "produce to a judge … unredacted copies of all documents, records and other materials in their possession which might be relevant to the charges against Mr. Khadr."

The court said that the judge "shall consider any privilege or public interest immunity claim that is raised, including any claim under Ss. 38 et seq. of the act, and make an order for disclosure in accordance with the reasons for judgment."

So, who will this judge be who will decide on what to actually, ultimately, release?

Well, Kady O'Malley is reporting that it will be federal judge Richard Mosley who, she suggests, might be in a position of a conflict of interest:

The federal judge who will, as per today’s ruling, make the final decision on which documents will be disclosed to Omar Khadr’s legal team, and which may be redacted or withheld for reasons of national security grounds is Richard Mosley — the same Richard Mosley who, during a previous incarnation as associate deputy minister at the Department of Justice, was responsible for drafting much of Canada’s current anti-terrorist legislation, which has raised concerns over potential conflict of interest in the past.

I think Ms. O'Malley may just might have a point.



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