...However, said Waldman, who is a refugee lawyer, “none of them, as far as I’m aware, have been convicted in any criminal proceeding anywhere in the world.” He called the situation an invasion of privacy, “hugely problematic” and a “publicity stunt.”CARL and a number of other legal groups issued a statement on Sept. 21 saying the lists undermine the presumption of innocence and may violate privacy rights. The CARL statement said such lists broadly apply theImmigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) inadmissibility provisions to circumvent the legal system by not having charges in place and, in some cases, without having evidence of any criminal conduct.B.C. Civil Liberties Association president Robert Holmes said the use of tools such as amber alerts and “person-of-interest” alerts is appropriate where proper grounds exist and they are being used to protect public safety and apprehend individuals for trial under the rule of law. However, Holmes criticized the federal government’s published list, which identified 30 individuals from places such as Angola, Haiti, Afghanistan, Peru, Somalia and other countries and described them as “suspected war criminals.” He said the individuals on the “most wanted” list haven’t necessarily been charged with committing war crimes.“What the government is doing here brands individuals as ‘suspected war criminals’ without having charges in place and, in some cases, without having evidence of any criminal conduct,” Holmes said. “The government’s goal appears to be to round up persons alleged [to be war criminals] by foreign authorities whose track record of dealing justly with their citizens is questionable and then, using Canadian immigration enforcement measures rather than the criminal law, to send these individuals off to places where there is no guarantee of anything Canadians would recognize as a fair trial or justice.”The CARL statement says the label “suspected war criminals” is wrong and unfair. It notes some people have only indirect association with war crimes or crimes against humanity but get caught up in the IRPA’s broad inadmissibility provisions.“The principle of the presumption of innocence is undermined by the publication of this list. Most, if not all, of the ‘suspected war criminals’ have not been convicted of a crime and Canada is not proposing a trial in which they could seek to clear their name,” the CARL statement says. “A finding of inadmissibility under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act requires significantly lower standards of proof than a criminal conviction. It is therefore unfair to publicly identify people as ‘suspected war criminals.’ ”Adds Waldman, “to equate an immigration finding with a criminal finding is unacceptable. We live in a day and age where these notices get on the Internet and are available everywhere. It creates a situation where people on the list are exposed.”...
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Posted by: Mattress Warehouse | December 13, 2011 at 12:08 AM