Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Proposed Policy Implementation Process

Implementation involves bringing the policy change into action, in line with the previously set goals and objectives. It involves planning around the political, financial and legal implications of changes. Our last blog posts go into these broad issues in more detail, but in this one I will outline how we have structured the implementation process of the actual written policies in question.

The two policy choices we had for the government are already existing policies that would just need to be slightly modified. The first step of the implementation process is for the federal government to initiate a repeal process of security certificate provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Only the provisions relating to security certificates need to be repealed, to make the changes we recommend. The rest of the IRPA would stay as is. This would need to be timed so as to allow the next steps to take place, but we would expect this occurs in a timely manner. The detainments are years long at this point, the evidence was presumably gathered prior to arrest, and allowing an injustice to continue indefinitely is not acceptable. The whole reason we recommend these changes is to bring them into line with humane policies, and this must be done intelligently and expediently.

Concurrently, the Attorney General needs to begin criminal proceedings for each person on a security certificate against whom there exists sufficient evidence to lay charges. The repeal of the IRPA provisions must be timed to allow this process to happen. The men currently on certificates have been subject to them for many years, so it should just be a matter of putting together the available information, if any, and officially charging them under the Criminal Code. The Attorney General is one of the people who originally signed the Security Certificate, so they would also already be familiar with the cases. Through the criminal code process, continued detention or conditions of release can be worked out, akin to anyone else being charged criminally. There is a process of applying for bail upon arrest, along with an appeal process for those denied release, or who want to appeal their bail conditions.

So once a period of time has passed to allow the compilation of the criminal case, the IRPA clauses could be revoked, and simultaneously the current security certificates would be dropped completely. This also means that the concurrent deportation proceedings would be null and void. Should the government want to seek a deportation order, it would be up to them to do so under the existing IRPA deportation procedures rules after the individual has been criminally convicted.

I’ve talked about implementation as though there is evidence and guilt on the part of these men, but we really don’t know that. The secrecy of the proceedings and the lack of information actually make it seem unlikely that there will be any criminal charges laid or guilt found. However the point in making these policy changes is to protect security and human rights while ensuring due process for both those who have committed “terrorist” acts and those who have not but for some reason or other, face suspicion. Implementing these policy changes, as above, are a first step towards meeting our goals and objectives of protecting security, human rights and due process.

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