Today the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to intervene to 13 applicants and groups of applicants in Canadian Council for Refugees, et al. v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, et al.
The case concerns the constitutional validity of legislation implementing the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement. The Federal Court ruled that the regime violates the s. 7 Charter rights of refugee claimants returned to the United States as a result of that country’s immigration detention practices. The Federal Court of Appeal reversed that decision.
The case raises many issues of public law. Alison M. Latimer, QC acts for the Queen's University Prison Law Clinic on this appeal. The Queen's University Prison Law Clinic is a non-profit corporation dedicated to protecting the rights of prisoners in the courts, and providing front-line legal services to federal prisoners.
The Queen's University Prison Law Clinic’s submissions will be targeted at the following issue: where systemic administrative action or inaction under legislation is the cause of a rights infringement, the legislation itself may be the focus of the Charter challenge.
This is an issue addressed "A Plumber with Words: Seeking Constitutional Responsibility and an End to the Little Sisters Problem", an article co-authored by Alison M. Latimer, QC and Benjamin L. Berger, available here.