Learning from Britain's mistakes: best practices and legislative revision in Canadian immigration law.INTRODUCTION
In the decade following 11 September 2001, the Canadian and British governments adopted many controversial legal measures to fight terrorism. They especially turned to stricter immigration laws to exclude and remove more easily those aliens suspected of involvement in terrorism. This strategy has had a considerable cost to the principle of procedural fairness. Canadian and British legislation increasingly restricted aliens' rights to legal counsel and access to evidence in deportation proceedings involving national security issues. To compensate for such procedural restrictions, Canada has adopted a controversial British system of "special advocates." Under this system, specially designated lawyers are authorized to view secret evidence and represent the deportee in hearings from which he is excluded.
However, the European Court of Human Rights (1) and the House of Lords House of Lords: see Parliament. (2) later ruled that the British special advocate system violated the European Convention on Human Rights. These decisions held that the system denied an individual sufficient knowledge of the case against him and prevented effective legal instructions to the special advocate. Because Canada's lawmakers copied this procedurally flawed British law, they should now take these rulings into account in order to improve the existing Canadian version of special advocates. Lawmakers must do so in order to find the "best practice" that optimally balances due process rights with the State's national security concerns.
The Canadian Parliament should therefore amend its special advocate system --which replicates the British one--to require (at least) more disclosure of evidence to the individual to be deported, as well as permit more communication between him and the special advocate. Parliament should make such changes expeditiously ex·pe·di·tious
Acting or done with speed and efficiency. See Synonyms at fast1.
ex and on its own initiative before the system is challenged before the Supreme Court of Canada The Supreme Court of Canada (French: Cour suprême du Canada) is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeal in the Canadian justice system. .
COMPARATIVE ANTI-TERRORISM LAW AFTER 9/11: A REFLECTION
In 2003, I examined Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act (3) of 2001 in a positive light. (4) As one American reviewer put it, this work
reads as it bills itself: The article is a rousing thumbs-up for our northern neighbor's legislative response to the attacks of September 11. Comparing Canada's 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act to Britain's Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 and the United States' Patriot Act, Jenkins contends that Canada has found a superior way to balance protection of civil liberties with the fight against terrorism. (5)
At that time, I made two arguments to support my conclusion that, on the whole, Canadians had carefully improved upon foreign ideas to arrive at a tough, necessary, yet more rights-conscious legal response to terrorism.
First, I advocated a comparative approach to the creation and development of new anti-terrorism laws in Canada and elsewhere. Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. can learn from one another because they share similar national security concerns about terrorism, as well as a common law tradition that shapes and limits legal responses. Comparison thus encourages a best-practices approach to formulating legislation. With that approach, lawmakers look to foreign law in seeking the optimal balance between effective anti-terrorism measures and individual rights.
Second, using this comparative approach, I focused on the ATA's controversial changes to Canadian criminal law. Specifically, I compared terrorist offences, restrictions on financing terrorism, investigatory powers of the police, and hate crimes provisions found in Canadian, British, and American legislation. For example, the definition of terrorism Few words are as politically or emotionally charged as terrorism. A 1988 study by the US Army counted 109 definitions of terrorism that covered a total of 22 different definitional elements. in Canada's ATA was highly influenced by British law, but tailored to be narrower in scope. The ATA also subjected controversial provisions like investigative hearings and special recognizance recognizance
In law, obligation entered into before a court or magistrate requiring the performance of an act (e.g., appearance in court), usually under penalty of a money forfeiture. The most common use of recognizance is in connection with bail in criminal cases. conditions to sunset clauses, so that they would automatically expire after a statutory time-period.
THE EXPLOITATION OF IMMIGRATION LAW AFTER 9/11
My earlier article focused on anti-terrorism measures in the criminal law and did not address them in immigration law. I did not consider tougher, post-9/11 immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. procedures to be as controversial or constitutionally troubling as the anti-terrorism criminal provisions, because national legislatures and the executive branches in the U.S., U.K., and Canada have always possessed sweeping powers to control immigration and police national borders. New powers to detain immigrants were problematic, but did not seem to me to be as novel or far-reaching as the new criminal measures, which applied to the general public and potentially criminalized unpopular political or religious activities, beliefs, or associations. However, the Canadian and British governments have since used immigration law, instead of criminal law, as their primary tool in combating terrorism. These governments have had several incentives for doing so.
First, deportation proceedings afford a potential deportee fewer procedural rights than does prosecution under the criminal law. For example, governments have more latitude in immigration proceedings, than they do in criminal ones, to withhold evidence and the details of allegations. Second, Canadian and British courts considerably defer to ministerial decisions that an alien poses a risk to national security and should therefore be deported or detained. The State can therefore detain or deport de·port
tr.v. de·port·ed, de·port·ing, de·ports
1. To expel from a country. See Synonyms at banish.
2. To behave or conduct (oneself) in a given manner; comport. an alien based on mere suspicion of that individual's involvement in terrorist activities without proving its case in a criminal trial. Because of this procedural flexibility and focus on risk, immigration law is arguably better suited than the criminal law for preventing acts of terrorism before they occur. Third, because aliens make up a small, legally vulnerable, and politically un-influential segment of society, governments can discriminate against them with little political cost. Indeed, by targeting aliens through immigration law, the Canadian and British governments are often viewed by some members of their electorate as taking decisive action against potential terrorists hiding amongst the population.
Exploiting such advantages, the Canadian and British governments have used immigration law to develop a procedural "third way" between the usual alternatives of deportation or criminal prosecution. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , these governments have sought to detain or otherwise seriously restrict the liberty of an individual, based on suspicion and using procedures much weaker than under the criminal law. In Canada and the United Kingdom, this third way has been marked by indefinite detention and control orders, special advocates and restricted rights to legal counsel, and secret evidence withheld from the individual in question.
THE PROCEDURAL "THIRD WAY"
1. In the UK
In the U.K., the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (6) permitted the indefinite detention of an alien terrorist suspect who could not be deported to his home country due to a risk of torture there. (7) During immigration proceedings, the deportee could be denied access to the Government's evidence. He was also prohibited from communicating with the special advocate, who would represent him in hearings from which he was excluded. (8) However, in the first A and Others case, the House of Lords declared the ATCSA ATCSA Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (UK) detention provisions to be incompatible with the European Convention, because they disproportionately infringed personal liberty and discriminated on the grounds of nationality. (9)
Parliament responded to this ruling by replacing indefinite detention with "control orders" under the Prevention of Terrorism Act Prevention of Terrorism Act could refer to four different sets of Acts of Parliament, in three different countries:
ECHR European Convention on Human Rights
ECHR Exact Cell Hit Ratio (in A and Others v United Kingdom) (11) and the House of Lords (in Secretary of State for the Home Department Noun 1. Secretary of State for the Home Department - the British cabinet minister who is head of the Home Office
British Cabinet - the senior ministers of the British government
cabinet minister - a person who is a member of the cabinet v AF) (12) later found this "third way" to violate the European Convention, as it permitted a deprivation of liberty based solely, or to a decisive degree, on material withheld from the individual and without giving him adequate opportunities to communicate with the special advocate.
2. In Canada
The development of a procedural "third way" in Canada closely paralleled the developments in Britain. Canada's security-certificate regime under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) is an Act of the Parliament of Canada, passed in 2001 as Bill C-11, which replaced the Immigration Act of 1976 as the primary federal legislation regulating Immigration to Canada. of 2001 (13) allows indefinite detention of an alien, so long as a risk of torture in his home country prevents deportation and he continues to pose a risk to national security. As originally enacted, the IRPA (14) authorized such detention pursuant to closed, exparte immigration hearings, in which the person charged under the certificate regime was denied access to any legal representation and was not informed of the particulars of the charge. Under these security-certificate procedures, a non-deportable alien was subject to prolonged deprivation of liberty without having an adequate opportunity to know and challenge the government's case against him.
In Charkaoui v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), (15) the Supreme Court of Canada held that the security-certificate proceedings violated, inter alia [Latin, Among other things.] A phrase used in Pleading to designate that a particular statute set out therein is only a part of the statute that is relevant to the facts of the lawsuit and not the entire statute. , the right to a fair hearing under the Charter. (16) This decision prompted the Canadian Parliament in 2008 to adopt the U.K.'s special advocate system in special amendments to the IRPA (IRPA Amendments), in hopes that it would meet Charter requirements. (17) Parliament therefore chose to use a controversial foreign model, being legally challenged at the time before British courts and the ECHR, rather than develop a better procedural alternative on its own. (18)
A RETURN TO BEST PRACTICES: "MONITORING" FOREIGN LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS
The Canadian and British governments' recourse to the procedural "third way" has led to serious constitutional issues in both countries. Instead of adopting a rights-conscious, best practices approach to protecting national security, both governments have together run a security-driven "race to the bottom" to find the lowest, legally permissible standards of due process. In this race, they have pushed the political and legal limits of State power, prioritized security over rights, and failed to seek the most proportionate or balanced responses to national security concerns. In contrast to the criminal law's strong due process requirements, immigration law has given these governments opportunity to deprive an individual of personal liberty using the least exacting procedures possible.
One method of combating this "race to the bottom" is a sophisticated comparative approach by all three branches of government in borrowing or adopting foreign counter-terrorism laws. (19) The search for best practices, which proportionally balance rights with security, requires intellectual effort with methodological concerns and a political commitment to optimal solutions. This approach requires more than "rights-proofing" legislation, whereby governments craft laws to meet only the minimal, baseline legal protections of rights, either under the Canadian Charter or the European Convention. (20) It instead requires governments to aspire to the best possible rights protections when creating laws that address specific national security concerns. In this light, foreign jurisdictions not only provide models for new anti-terrorism laws, but are laboratories where those models can be observed in operation over a period of time. Used carefully, comparative law can be a powerful tool for reflecting upon and eventually finding the right balance between liberty and security.
This commitment to best practices must therefore continue even after a legislature has incorporated foreign ideas into national anti-terrorism law. For example, Canadian lawmakers should have been paying attention to the continuing debates and legal challenges surrounding Britain's special advocate system, after its adoption in the IRPA Amendments of 2008. Although foreign decisions such as A and Others and AF are not binding in Canada, they nevertheless address similar legal issues as Charkaoui and concern a special advocate system nearly identical to that in Canada. In doing so, they suggest that the system is not the best, most proportional way to balance rights and national security in security certificate cases.
When executive officials and legislators seek best practices in this way, it has constitutional significance on both normative and structural levels. First, when lawmakers critically re-examine controversial laws and improve them on their own initiative, they recognize that rights claims have normative validity beyond their enforceability in the courts. Second, lawmakers' self-restraint encourages public trust (especially among politically vulnerable minorities), justifies reasonable judicial deference to political decisions about national security, and reduces potential points of friction between the political branches and the courts. The best practices approach therefore promotes coordinate constitutional interpretation by the executive and legislature, whereby the judiciary does not necessarily have the loudest or last word on contested constitutional issues. That is, when the political branches try to limit rights as little as possible, courts will have less cause to criticize or second-guess anti-terrorism legislation. Monitoring and self-correction are evidence of lawmakers' commitment to rights, as they look for new, more effective legal protections for national security.
After the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Charkaoui, the Canadian Parliament failed to seek out the best possible procedural protections in security certificate cases. Instead, it simply adopted the existing British system of special advocates, which the ECHR and the House of Lords would later criticize. This legislative gamble of "gaming" the Charter (21)--by rights-proofing the special advocate system against what some thought to be the Charter's minimum standards--suggests the Canadian government's lack of earnestness about rights. If truly committed to properly balancing rights with security, Canada's current government and Parliament will heed these foreign courts and re-evaluate, improve, or replace the existing special advocate system. They should do so, notwithstanding the pending appeal of the Federal Court's decision in the Harkat case, (22) finding the special advocate system constitutional. The political duty to balance rights with security as optimally as possible exists irrespective of the results of litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. . If and when lawmakers in Ottawa carry out this obligation, the British experience will clearly show Canada's special advocate system to be far from the best practice available.
(1) A and Others v United Kingdom, Application no 3455/05, Council of Europe Council of Europe, international organization founded in 1949 to promote greater unity within Europe and to safeguard its political and cultural heritage by promoting human rights and democracy. The council is headquartered in Strasbourg, France. : European Court of Human Rights, 19 February 2009.
(2) Secretary of State for the Home Department v AF,  UKHL 28.
(3) Anti-Terrorism Act, SC 2001, c 41 [ATA].
(4) David Jenkins, "In Support of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act: A Comparison of Canadian, British, and American Anti-Terrorism Law" (2003) 66 Sask L Rev 419.
(5) "The True North Strong and Free," Review, Legal Affairs (March/April 2004), online: legalaffairs <http:// www.legalaffairs.org/issues/March-April-2004/elsewhere_marpar04.msp>.
(6) Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (UK), c 24, ss 21-23 [ATCSA], repealed by Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 (UK), c 2, s 16(2)-(4) [PTA PTA or parent-teacher association: see parent education. ].
(7) Chahal v United Kingdom (1996), 23 EHRR 413 (deportation to a risk of torture prohibited under art. 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights).
(8) Special advocates were introduced in the UK with the Special Immigration Appeals Commission
The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (also known by the acronym SIAC Act 1997 (UK), c 68, s 6 [S1ACA ACA - Application Control Architecture ]. See also Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Procedure) Rules 2003, SI 2003/1034, rules 34-37.
(9) Supra note 1 ; See Human Rights Act 1998 (UK), c 42, s 4 [HRA], allowing a court to issue a declaration of incompatibility.
(10) See PTA, supra note 6, s 3(5), and Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2005 (S1 2005/656, L. 16).
(11) Supra note 1.
(12) Supra note 2.
(13) Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27, ss 77-82 [IRPA], as amended by An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, SC 2008, c 3, s 4 [IRPA Amendments].
(14) See IRPA, ibid, s 78.
(15) Charkaoui v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2007 SCC SCC - strongly connected component 9, 1 SCR (Sequence Control Register) See program counter. 350.
(16) Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (also known as The Charter of Rights and Freedoms or simply The Charter) is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada. It forms the first part of the Constitution Act, 1982. , s7 Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c 11.
(17) See IRPA, supra note 13, ss 83-87.1, as amended by IRPA Amendments, supra note 13, s 4.
(18) For example, Parliament could have looked to a form of special advocate that was previously used in some immigration hearings before Canada's Security and Intelligence Review Committee. That system was discontinued in 2002. For a summary of that committee's procedures, see Craig Forcese & Lorne Waldman, "Seeking Justice in an Unfair Process: Lessons from Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand New Zealand (zē`lənd), island country (2005 est. pop. 4,035,000), 104,454 sq mi (270,534 sq km), in the S Pacific Ocean, over 1,000 mi (1,600 km) SE of Australia. The capital is Wellington; the largest city and leading port is Auckland. on the Use of 'Special Advocates' in National Security Proceedings" (August 2007) at 5-10, online: University of Ottawa
(19) I detail just such a response in David Jenkins, "There and Back Again: The Strange Journey of Special Advocates and Comparative Law Methodology" (forthcoming, 2011) Columbia Human Rights Law Review.
(20) On "Charter-proofing," see Kent Roach, "The Dangers of a Charter-Proof and Crime-Based Response to Terrorism" in Ronald J Daniels, Patrick Macklem, and Kent Roach, eds, The Security of Freedom: Essays on Canada's Anti-Terrorism Bill (Toronto: University of Toronto Research at the University of Toronto has been responsible for the world's first electronic heart pacemaker, artificial larynx, single-lung transplant, nerve transplant, artificial pancreas, chemical laser, G-suit, the first practical electron microscope, the first cloning of T-cells, Press, 2001) 131 at 131-38; I discuss rights-proofing further in the context of special advocates systems in Jenkins, ibid.
(21) Thanks to Michael Plaxton (Saskatchewan) for this term.
(22) In the Matter of Harkat, 2010 FC 1242.
David Jenkins, Associate Professor of Law, University of Copenhagen The University of Copenhagen (Danish: Københavns Universitet) is the oldest and largest university and research institution in Denmark. (member of the Centre for European Constitutionalization and Security, in collaboration with the Centre for Advanced Security Theory); Attorney at Law (W.Va.; Oh.); J.D. (Washington and Lee University); LL.M LL.M Legum Magister (Master of Laws) ., Doctor of Civil Law (McGill University Institute of Comparative Law). Thanks to Michael Plaxton at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law The University of Saskatchewan's College of law is a Canadian law school located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The College of Law was established in 1912 and is the oldest law school in Western Canada. The College offers both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Law. for his helpful comments.