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New Anti-Terrorism Law in Canada Allows Secret Courts
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Canada Anti-terrorism law

Summary: Organizations are arguing that the new security measures that Canada is taking are unconstitutional in allowing secret courts and no judge’s order to be held against the accused.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression are taking on Canada’s new anti-terrorism law because they claim it violates the Canadian constitution. The legal application was filed with the Ontario Supreme Court.

  
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The government was already warned by constitutional lawyers that the legislation was unconstitutional earlier this year before it came into law. They ignored the advice and now may have to deal with a long legal battle over this wide-reaching security legislation.

There are five sections of the bill that are ambiguous, general and clearly incompatible with Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The bill titled The Anti-Terrorism Act 2015 or Bill C-51 became law last month after a couple of terrorism attacks from citizens. These attacks caused Prime Minister Stephen Harper to rewrite the current laws pertaining to Canada’s spy agencies.

Many fear the law gives too much power to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Communication Security Establishment. The five sections the organizations are fighting is the ability to make it easier to put individuals on the no-fly list, loosening of rules on how the government lawyers can deport alleged security risks, criminal prohibitions on advocating terrorism offences ‘in general’, new abilities for CSIS to ‘disrupt’ threats, and information-sharing powers that empower bureaucrats to share Canadians’ data with spy agencies.

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For the sections adding people to the no-fly list and deporting security risks, government lawyers attend a secret court without even the accused’s lawyer being able to attend. The section on information-sharing doesn’t even require agencies to apply at a court at all. The section they have the biggest problem with is the section allowing CSIS to ‘disrupt’ threats to Canada’s security. The section does not require a judge’s approval, except in some circumstances, where a secret order can be obtained. The only thing CSIS is not allowed to do is intentionally injure or murder, pervert the course of justice, or commit rape.

Source: https://news.vice.com/article/civil-liberties-and-media-advocates-have-filed-a-legal-challenge-to-canadas-anti-terrorism-law



Photo: ctvnews.ca



 

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