Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Great Guantánamo Kangaroo Epidemic

There is a certain black humour to this whole thing. Satire can't keep up with it.

Omar Khadr is accused of murder, which is a good old-fashioned crime. If he was a Canadian citizen visiting Afghanistan at the time of the alleged crime, he should be tried in Afghan criminal court, or he should have been, 8 years ago or whenever. If he is alleged to have committed a war crime, he should be tried by an appropriate tribunal. Given that there was no effective civilian government at the time of the alleged offence, the legal remedy would be to try him in Canada where he is a citizen, where we have both the legal resources and precedent to try international criminal law cases and obtain convictions.

If he were to be tried under international criminal law in Canada, the Supreme Court has ruled that his Charter Rights have already been grossly abused [2008 SCC 28]. Apart from that, he'd have to be charged with a crime and the prosecution would have to provide evidence.

If he were to be tried in the United States however, he would have habeas corpus on his side, as well as the fact that the United States signed the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949. The events of "9/11" may have "changed everything," but they didn't change international law.

The fact that he's being tried in limbo by a court that doesn't exist according to law that was enacted after the alleged crime occurred by a legislative assembly that has no jurisdiction, reeks of kangaroo. It makes Kafka seem unimaginative.

I'd really, really like to see the Government of Canada try to put Khadr in jail. According to the Nuremberg Principles, complicity in a war crime is also a war crime, and the Government of Canada is complicit in "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (Section 3  of the Third Convention, same as Section 3 of the Fourth Convention) as well as Section 11  of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Bring him home.  I want to see Rob Nicholson suffer.

Updated from a previous post.  End all sentences with uptalk?