Charkaoui v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration)

[2007] 1 S.C.R. 350

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness could issue a certificate declaring an individual inadmissible to Canada on security grounds. The issuing of a security certificate led to detention of the named individual. The process for reviewing both the certificate and the detention was such that some or all of the information on which the decision to issue the certificate was made could be withheld from the individual concerned. Once a judge found a security certificate to be reasonable, it became a removal order subject to immediate enforcement and for which there was no appeal. The appellants had been the subjects of security certificates and challenged the validity of the scheme.

The Supreme Court ruled that the procedure for determining the reasonableness of the certificate and the detention review procedures violated s.7 of the Charter. Detention and potential deportation engaged the liberty and security of the person interests of the individual in a manner inconsistent with the principles of fundamental justice, as they denied the individual the right to a fair hearing before the state. Specifically, the procedure denied the individual the opportunity to know the case against them and to make full answer and defence. The infringement was not justified under s.1. Although the objective of national security was pressing and substantial, the regime was not minimally impairing.

SCC Reasons for Judgment

Faculty of Law Commentary on Charkaoui v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration)

Kent Roach, “Charkaoui and Bill C-3: Some Implications for Anti-Terrorism Policy and Dialogue between Courts and Legislatures,” (2008) 42 SCLR (2d) 281.



Date Document
2006/02/07 Appellant – Adil Charkaoui
2006/03/20 Appellant – Hassan Almrei
2006/03/26 Appellant – Mohamed Harkat
2006/05/03 Respondents for Harkat – Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Attorney General of Canada
2006/05/23 Intervener – Attorney General of Ontario
2006/05/23 Intervener – Canadian Civil Liberties Association
2006/05/25 Intervener – Canadian Arab Federation
2006/05/25 Interveners – Canadian Council for Refugees, African Canadian Legal Clinic, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and National Anti-racism Council of Canada
2006/05/25 Intervener – University of Toronto, Faculty of Law – International Human Rights Clinic and Human Rights Watch
2006/05/26 Intervener – Amnesty International
2006/05/26 Interveners – Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations and Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties Association
2006/05/26 Intervener – Federation of Law Societies of Canada
2006/05/30 Intervener – Criminal Lawyers’ Association (Ontario)
2006/06/12 Intervener – Canadian Bar Association