This week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the following appeals this week including cases that will tackle the meaning of “terrorist activity” as defined by the Criminal Code:

June 11 — Ontario — Sriskandarajah v. United States of America
Nadarajah v. United States of America

Charter of Rights and Freedoms: The United States wants to extradite Suresh Sriskandarajah to be tried on terrorism charges. The American government alleges he helped the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam. He sought a declaration that the definition of “terrorist activity” and its use in the Criminal Code are unconstitutional. The judge denied his request and ordered his extradition. The second case involves a different accused but the case is essentially the same.

June 11 — Ontario — Khawaja v. R.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Mohammad Khawaja was charged with various terrorism-related offences. The constitutionality of the definition of “terrorist activity” in s. 83.01(1)(b) of the Criminal Code is also at the heart of this case.

June 14 — Nova Scotia — R. v. Ryan

Criminal law: The person Nicole Ryan tried to hire to kill her estranged husband turned out to be an undercover RCMP officer. She was charged with counselling to commit murder. During her trial, she admitted to the accusations but claimed her husband was abusive and threatened to kill her and their child. She was acquitted and the appeal was dismissed. The question at hand is whether the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal erred in law in upholding the respondent’s acquittal. There is a publication ban and sealing order in the case.

At 9:45 a.m. on June 15, the SCC will also release its ruling in Halifax Regional Municipality v. R. (Federal Court) (Civil)

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