Judge Popular for Khadr Decision Dissent Named to Supreme Court

A Federal Court of Appeal judge popular for once writing down a powerful dissent clearly in complete support of the Canadian government’s position in a case brought by Guantanamo prisoner Omar Khadr, has now been named to the Supreme Court of Canada. He is not a judge to mince words, which was clear in his dissent from the appeal court’s majority ruling in 2009, which alleged that Canada was legally obliged to try to bring Mr. Khadr, an accused (and now convicted) terrorist, home from the U.S. prison.

Signaling towards a ruling by Federal Court Judge James O’Reilly that found such an obligation, he wrote, “I must confess that I have serious doubts about the soundness of [his] assertion that Canada was bound ‘to take all appropriate measures to promote Mr. Khadr’s physical, psychological and social recovery. With respect, the Judge again appears to have forgotten that Mr. Khadr was and is detained at Guantanamo Bay by the US military.” Later he pointed out that judges shall be careful of intruding in matters of national security that was a stance later agreed by Supreme Court as well.

Consequently, judge later also used similarly restrained approach when an adoptive mother brought a case for full maternity benefits, in which case he entitled her only to a smaller set of benefits known as parental benefits. He wrote that “exact parity between biological and adoptive mother would result, in my view, in discrimination against biological mothers.”

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