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Sunday, July 9, 2017

The rule of law

Those of us who are lawyers tell our clients every day that settlement can be more “cost effective” than fighting, even if we might win. But winning, losing and the mercenary calculus of dollars are not the only values we weigh, when making a difficult decision. Sometimes we stand up for a principle.
The problem with standing up for a principle in the Khadr case is, we don’t have a principle worth standing up for. The rule of law really does matter, and I for one would not relish the prospect of public servant lawyers burning our tax dollars for years defending how Canada’s government betrayed Canada’s laws and citizenry. That is not, I think, a fight worth fighting.
As an officer of the court and a believer in the rule of law, I am angry to think my government – of any party – would use raw power to behave illegally, in particular when it means abandoning a citizen to the vagaries of foreign justice. The truth is that the government of Canada violated MY rights, and other Canadians’ rights, and all of our interests when it arrogantly subverted one of the things that makes us better than the enemy we were fighting. If Omar Khadr deserves an apology for what was done to him, the rest of us do too.

How Canada won the Khadr Case

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