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The Khadr Judgement and the Argument Against Appeal

April 24, 2009

There was much celebrating in many quarters yesterday when a  Federal Court judgement stated that the Canadian government had a “duty to protect” Omar Khadr under the Charter and ordered them to begin proceedings to re-repatriate him as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, the celebration was short-lived as Stephen Harper stood up in the House of Commons and said that the government will be “considering an appeal”.

Blogger Impolitical has a detailed analysis of exactly why an appeal would be a monumentally bad idea, from both a legal standpoint and a political one. In a nutshell:

a) Legally, the judgement only narrowly applies to Khadr and his circumstances, so the government cannot argue that it opens the door to other prisoners demanding repatriation, and

b) Politically, the people who set up and ran Guantanamo Bay are not exactly the kind of people you want to be seen as siding with right now, given that the Americans themselves are suddenly waking up to the reality of what has been going on in these places for the past seven or eight years.

Impolitical, as usual, makes an eloquent case. Go read.

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