Terrorism, Law, and Democracy (2002)
A documentary series examining the consequences of September 11th , 2001 on Canada's legal and political system.
Originally airing on CKUT from July 10 to September 11, 2002, the series considers a broad range of perspectives on the rule of law in terms of the balance between national security and civil liberties, the Canadian and international dimensions of the war on terrorism, and Canada’s enactment of the Anti-Terrorism Act (Bill C-36) and the national Anti-Terrorism Plan.
Based on the proceedings of the conference Terrorism, Law and Democracy organized March 25 and 26, 2002 in Montreal by the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice (CIAJ).
Part 1. Terrorism: A Backgrounder
Introduction to the series and the concept of terrorism. Gwynne Dyer on September 11th and the need to balance perspectives in dealing with terrorism. Noam Chomsky, excerpts from The New War on Terrorism: Fact and Fiction, recorded October 18, 2001 (Alternative Radio). The Bush doctrine of American Internationalism: a background for understanding the war on terrorism (State of the Union Address, February 27, 2001).
Presentation by Ward Elcock (Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service) on 9/11, the war on terrorism, and CSIS’ new investigative and preventative powers. Interview with Kevin Thomas (Advisor, Lubicon Cree) on the experiences of First Nations and national security in light of new legislation. Interview with Rocco Gallati (Counsel, Canadian Islamic Congress) provided an important critique before the House of Commons committees reviewing Bill C-36. Interviewed by Sama Elybaria.
The constitutional framework for balancing charter rights and national security concerns including presentations of the conference panel Constitutional Democracy: Balancing Security and Civil Liberties Panel: Irwin Cotler, Errol Mendes, Patrice Garant, moderated by Nathalie Des Rosiers. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the presumption of innocence.
Errol Mendes (Law, University of Ottawa) considers the constitutional issues related to the legislation and the re-alignment of rights and liberties. Irwin Cotler (Law, McGill & Member of Parliament) how terrorism justifies the new legislation’s departure from the traditional due process model. Canada’s judicial review of the restriction of fundamental rights including the Oakes test. Patrice Garant (Law, University of Laval) on judicial oversight and its constitutional logic. Alan Leadbeater (Deputy Information Commissioner of Canada) examines the shift of power from the citizen to the state operated by recent amendments to the criminal code.
Presentation of the conference panel Watching the Watchers: Democratic Oversight which describes a disturbing lack of oversight and transparency of the exercise of the new powers under Bill C-36. Shirley Heafey (Chair, RCMP Public Complaints Commissioner) on the risk that there is not adequate oversight of new powers. James K. Hugessen (Federal Court of Canada) considers the problems for democratic justice and judgement under new legislation. Bob Rae (former Premier, Ontario and former member of the Security & Intelligence Review Committee) on the problems with oversight of federal agencies and their accrued powers post 9/11. Alan Borovoy (General Counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Council) on the difficulties posed by legislation for the safeguarding of civil liberties.
Changes in immigration legislation and recent jurisprudence and the impact of the war on terrorism on ethno-cultural community groups, human rights, citizenship, and humanitarianism. Dr. Rudhramorthy Cheran (Centre for Refugee Studies, York University) on racism, anti-terrorism, and the universality of human rights. Amina Bahig (Algerian psychologist) on the impact of 9/11 on Arab and Muslim communities in Quebec. Professor Emerson Douyon (Criminology, Laval & Clinique René Laennec) on the criminal justice system and ethnicity. Amina Sherazee (Counsel, Canadian Arab Federation) on immigration and the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The effect of Canada’s anti-terrorism legislation on political engagement and activism, the problematic nature of preventative measures and the limits now imposed on political freedoms. Jaggi Singh (activist) reflects on recent activism in Quebec and the new challenges posed by the war on terrorism. André Paradis (Ligue des droits et des libertés) on the risks that democratic institutions now face with the war on terrorism.
President George Bush on American Internationalism, the war on terror, and the economic rationale tied to the US national doctrine. Rocco Gallati on the threat to democracy that this war represents.
Martin Rudner (Director, Centre for Security & Defence Studies, Carleton University) on the new threat environment post 9/11. The international context for criminal justice and a presentation on the International Criminal Court (ICC). Bill Graham (Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister) on the ICC and international law.
A review of Bill C-36.