The Champion

March 2007 , Page 57 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

The Arar Inquiry: Canada Faces a Case of Torture

By Steven Skurka

Read more Northern Lights columns.

“Let us be clear: torture can never be an instrument to fight terror, for torture is an instrument of terror.”
– Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations

Dec. 10, 2005

Prior to the events of 9/11, the use of torture as an evidence-gathering tool was wholly contrary to the Canadian legal system and the principles espoused by a constitutional democracy. Recent times, however, have shown a startling acquiescence by the public, politicians, and indeed some academics to the use of “reasonable” torture. Debates have focused not on the absolute prohibition of torture, but rather just how much torture is tolerable in certain circumstances. Any discussion about basic human rights and civil liberties is quickly subsumed by vocal concerns about public safety and security. They are the justified collateral damage in the war against terrorism.

In Canada, the use of torture for “national security purposes” came to light as a result of the detention and torture of

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us