Friday, August 24, 2012

Canadian Torture Lite

Ottawa allows RCMP, border agency to use torture-tainted information 

The Canadian Press Published Friday, Aug. 24 2012, 4:18 PM EDT
Last updated Friday, Aug. 24 2012, 5:15 PM EDT

Article 2

1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.

2. NO exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.

Article 3

1. No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.

Article 4

1. Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.

Criminal Code of Canada

  •  (1) Every official, or every person acting at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of an official, who inflicts torture on any other person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
  • Marginal note:Definitions
    (2) For the purposes of this section,
    « fonctionnaire »
    “official” means
    • (a) a peace officer,
    • (b) a public officer,
    • (c) a member of the Canadian Forces, or
    • (d) any person who may exercise powers, pursuant to a law in force in a foreign state, that would, in Canada, be exercised by a person referred to in paragraph (a), (b), or (c),
    whether the person exercises powers in Canada or outside Canada;
    « torture »
    “torture” means any act or omission by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person
    • (a) for a purpose including
      • (i) obtaining from the person or from a third person information or a statement,
      • (ii) punishing the person for an act that the person or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, and
      • (iii) intimidating or coercing the person or a third person, or
    • (b) for any reason based on discrimination of any kind,
    but does not include any act or omission arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
  • Marginal note:No defence
    (3) It is no defence to a charge under this section that the accused was ordered by a superior or a public authority to perform the act or omission that forms the subject-matter of the charge or that the act or omission is alleged to have been justified by exceptional circumstances, including a state of war, a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency.
  • Marginal note:Evidence
    (4) In any proceedings over which Parliament has jurisdiction, any statement obtained as a result of the commission of an offence under this section is inadmissible in evidence, except as evidence that the statement was so obtained.
  • R.S., 1985, c. 10 (3rd Supp.), s. 2.
[Emphases added]

STATUS AS AT : 23-08-2012 10:12:34 EDT
9 . Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
New York, 10 December 1984
Entry into force
26 June 1987, in accordance with article 27(1). 1
Registration :
26 June 1987, No. 24841
Status :
Signatories : 78. Parties : 151
Text :
United Nations,  Treaty Series , vol. 1465, p. 85.
Note :
The Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, was adopted by resolution 39/462of 10 December 1984 at the thirty-ninth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.  The Convention is open for signature by all States, in accordance with its article 25.
Participant 3 Signature Ratification, Accession(a), Succession(d)
Afghanistan  4 Feb 1985  1 Apr 1987
Albania 11 May 1994 a
Algeria 26 Nov 1985 12 Sep 1989
Andorra  5 Aug 2002 22 Sep 2006
Antigua and Barbuda 19 Jul 1993 a
Argentina  4 Feb 1985 24 Sep 1986
Armenia 13 Sep 1993 a
Australia 10 Dec 1985  8 Aug 1989
Austria 14 Mar 1985 29 Jul 1987
Azerbaijan 16 Aug 1996 a
Bahamas 16 Dec 2008
Bahrain  6 Mar 1998 a
Bangladesh  5 Oct 1998 a
Belarus 19 Dec 1985 13 Mar 1987
Belgium  4 Feb 1985 25 Jun 1999
Belize 17 Mar 1986 a
Benin 12 Mar 1992 a
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)  4 Feb 1985 12 Apr 1999
Bosnia and Herzegovina 4  1 Sep 1993 d
Botswana  8 Sep 2000  8 Sep 2000
Brazil 23 Sep 1985 28 Sep 1989
Bulgaria 10 Jun 1986 16 Dec 1986
Burkina Faso  4 Jan 1999 a
Burundi 18 Feb 1993 a
Cambodia 15 Oct 1992 a
Cameroon 19 Dec 1986 a
Canada 23 Aug 1985 24 Jun 1987
United States of America 1 18 Apr 1988 21 Oct 1994 
12.On 3 June 1994, the Secretary-General received a communication from the Government of the United States of America requesting, in compliance with a condition set forth by the Senate of the United States of America, in giving advice and consent to the ratification of the Convention, and in contemplation of the deposit of an instrument of ratification of the Convention by the Government of the United States of America, that a notification should be made to all present and prospective ratifying Parties to the Convention to the effect that: "... nothing in this Convention requires or authorizes legislation, or other action, by the United States of America prohibited by the Constitution of the United States as interpreted by the United States."