Canadian government to review anti-terror law ruling

Canadian government to review anti-terror law ruling

[JURIST] Canadian Justice Minister Vic Toews [official profile] said Wednesday that the Canadian government will review and perhaps appeal an Ontario Superior Court ruling [text, PDF] that struck down as unconstitutional [JURIST report] a key provision of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act [text; CBC backgrounder]. In its decision Tuesday, the Ontario court held that the section of the Anti-Terrorism Act that defines "terrorism" is unconstitutionally vague and contradicts several provisions of the Canadian Charter on Rights and Freedoms [text]. The court specifically eliminated the Act's "motivation clause" which previously required that prosecutors prove an alleged act of terrorism was motivated by political, religious, or ideological purposes. CBC News has more.

Momin Khawaja [CBC backgrounder], the Canadian-born son of Pakistani immigrants who brought the legal challenge, has been been charged with knowingly participating in or contributing to the activities of a terrorist group and of knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity. Khawaja is the first individual to have been charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act [JURIST report]; his trial is still expected to commence in January.