Friday, May 22, 2015

Legal Analysis of the Proposed Bill C-51, the Canadian Anti-terrorism Act, 2015: Potential Impact on Freedom of Expression
"This analysis looks at the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, of Bill C-51, from the perspective of the right to freedom of expression.  It is based on international standards which form the basis of the mandate of the OSCE in relation to freedom of expression.  These include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, which Canada has ratified, and other OSCE Commitments in this area.

Key Recommendations:
  • Proposed section 83.221 of the Criminal Code should be limited to direct and intentional incitement to commit terrorism offences.
  • The definition of ‘terrorist propaganda’ in proposed section 83.222(8) of the Criminal Code should similarly be limited to material which incites others to commit terrorism offences.
  • The standard for engaging the seizure or suppression measures in proposed sections 83.222 and 83.223 of the Criminal Code should be more stringent than mere ‘reasonable grounds’, for example by requiring there to be ‘substantial grounds’, and some risk of harm, such as a likelihood of incitement to terrorism, should be added.
  • The proposed Security of Canada Information Sharing Act and Secure Travel Act should be reviewed to ensure that it strikes an appropriate balance between privacy (and freedom of expression) and the need to combat terrorism, including by limiting its scope to information that really is required to be shared to combat terrorism and by putting in place more robust oversight mechanisms."

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