Wednesday, February 6, 2013

To Peter van Loan from Winston Churchill, FYI

Government will review anti-terrorist law: Van Loan
Canadian Press

Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan says there's a need for change to the federal government's national security certificate system. (Pawel Dwulit/Canadian Press) The federal government has launched a sweeping review of its rickety national security certificate law, The Canadian Press has learned.

"We are working on it actively, very actively, and recognize that the current situation is not ideal — and that there is a need for change," Peter Van Loan, Canada's public safety minister, said in an interview.

The review could scrap or revamp a law used to arrest and deport non-Canadians considered a threat to national security. Certificates have existed for three decades, and more than two dozen have been issued since 1991, when they became part of federal immigration law.

But legal challenges and upbraidings from judges over miscues by Canada's spy agency have seen recent cases slow to a crawl, or collapse completely.

"I'm contemplating what we would do in the future, and whether that is an appropriate instrument," Van Loan said.

Miscues?! Is that different from criminal negligence or obstruction of justice?

Anyway, here's Winston on the same subject:

Prime Minister to Home Secretary 21 Nov 43

I expect you will be questioned about the release of the Mosleys. No doubt the pith of your case is health and humanity. You might however consider whether you should not unfold as a background the great principle of habeas corpus and trial by jury, which are the supreme protection invented by the British people for ordinary individuals against the State. The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and whether particularly to deny him judgement by his peers for an indefinite period, is in the highest degree odious, and is the foundation of all totalitarian Governments whether Nazi or Communist. It is only when extreme danger to the State can be pleaded that this power may be temporarily assumed by the Executive, and even so its working must be interpreted with the utmost vigilance by a Free Parliament. As the danger passes, persons so imprisoned, against whom there is no charge which courts and juries would accept, should be released, as you have been steadily doing, until hardly any are left. Extraordinary powers assumed by the Executive with consent of Parliament in emergencies should be yielded up when as the emergency declines. Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a man or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
from Closing the Ring, pg. 679