Queen's University law professor defends rights of non-citizens
Queen’s University law professor Sharry Aiken is representing the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group before the Supreme Court Thursday. The groups are asking the Court to rule that it’s fundamentally unfair to rely on secret evidence in deciding whether to deport a non-citizen.
The hearing centres around Mohamed Harkat who was picked up on a security certificate in 2002 based on Canadian Security Intelligence Service intelligence that allegedly linked him to known al-Qaeda sympathizers. A security certificate allows suspects to be detained for years without charge on national security grounds.
“Treating people fairly means giving everyone equal protection of their basic rights,” says Professor Aiken. “The use of secret evidence in immigration processes is unfair because it undermines non-citizens’ right to life, liberty and the security of the person. When these rights are at stake for citizens, such as in criminal proceedings, we should not tolerate the use of secret evidence.”
Professor Aiken, along with fellow lawyers Barbara Jackman and Andrew Brouwer will be appearing before the Supreme Court Thursday.