Canada court strikes down refugee agreement with US

[JURIST] The Federal Court of Canada [official website] Thursday struck down a refugee agreement [judgment, PDF] between Canada and the US, noting that the US does not meet international refugee protection requirements or respect international conventions against torture. Justice Michael Phelan [official profile] essentially nullified the 2004 Safe Third Country Agreement [text], which barred foreign refugees who first arrived in the US from seeking refugee status in Canada and vice versa. Phelan noted that the US has not been compliant with the Refugee Convention or the UN Convention Against Torture [texts]. The court also held that the agreement discriminates against refugees based on how they first arrived in Canada and thus violates Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text].

The nullification of the agreement will likely result in Canada processing thousands more refugees each year. The US and Canadian governments have until January 14 to file an appeal. CTV News has more. The Montreal Gazette has additional coverage.

 

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