Toronto / Vancouver – Two civil liberties organizations fighting against Canada’s unconstitutional indefinite solitary confinement law in the courts, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, have written to the Minister of Public Safety and Minister of Justice to ask that the federal government “change course” and end the court fight.
Two weeks ago, the BC Supreme Court ordered the federal law permitting indefinite solitary confinement to be struck down completely, ruling that it is unconstitutional because it permits unlimited terms of solitary confinement, because of the lack of independent oversight and a right to counsel, and because it discriminates against Indigenous prisoners and those with mental illness. The BC case was won by the BCCLA and the John Howard Society of Canada. In litigation brought by the CCLA, Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice also struck down part of the law in December of last year.
The organizations have called on the federal government to dramatically improve its current solitary confinement bill, Bill C-56, to ensure it complies with the recent court decisions.
The joint solidarity letter can be found here: https://bccla.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Joint-Solitary-Letter-CCLA-BCCLA.pdf