Canada high court ruled government may withhold national security evidence

On February 10, 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld challenged portions of the Canada Evidence Act, ruling that national security considerations take precedence over criminal convictions. Noting the need for balance between ensuring security and a fair judicial system, the court affirmed the constitutionality of a provision giving prosecutors authority to withhold evidence with national security implications. The provision replaces the authority of local trial judges with that of the Federal Court, Canada's national trial court. The case originated from the prosecutions of the "Toronto 18," who were arrested in 2006 after police learned of their plans to bomb sites throughout Ontario using fertilizer explosives in response to Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan.

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Learn more about Canada and the Toronto 18 from the JURIST news archive and read commentary on the Toronto 18 trial from JURIST Guest Columnist Beenish Gaya in Forum.


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