Feb 14,2008 00:00
OTTAWA -- A new Canadian anti-terror bill dealing with suspects' detention and deportation rights went to the governor general in Ottawa for royal assent Thursday.
Bill C-3 deals with the country's security certificate system, which was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last year as it denies people the right to know the government's evidence against them or to defend themselves in secret judicial hearings, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
The court gave Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government until Feb. 23 to make amendments and some critics say the rush to meet the deadline resulted in questionable legislation, the newspaper said.
"Sometimes we hold our noses when it comes time to adopt bills," said Conservative Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin. "That is the sort of legislation we have before us now."
Canada is holding six suspected Islamist terror suspects on security certificates and under the new bill will be entitled to "special advocates," who are security-cleared lawyers to represent them in secret hearings, the report said.
Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.