February 04, 2008

A good start?

Alex Neve and Jason Gratl, in the Globe online today, arguing why Afghanistan's jailers need to be held to Canadian Charter of Rights standards:

"Does this mean that Canada has to take over the justice system in Afghanistan and start... shipping over lawyers? Clearly not."


(The whole piece, like Neve, et al's entire argument, is a massive exercise in question-begging. They are not, in fact arguing in court that prisoners of Canadians, while still in Canadian military custody, "cannot be treated in ways that expose them to serious human-rights violations such as torture, arbitrary detention or 'disappearance.'" No Canadian would argue with that. No, they're arguing that Canadian soldiers abroad can only turn over any detainees they have to a system with comparable individual legal protections to Canada's, or face prosecution at home. Which is a case that, if won in court, would basically preclude almost all Canadian peace enforcement missions or peacekeeping, of any kind. You think we had our own jails in Cyprus or Suez? Neve is really arguing that, contra Bono, the world does not, in fact, need more Canada, regardless of whatever future massive human rights violations might seem to warrant Canadian military intervention, because we can't trust the jails of any country that might benefit from that kind of presence. It is an argument for just staying home and clucking instead, even if Neve and Amnesty don't want to cop to it.)

Posted by BruceR at 12:56 PM