Canada Outlaws Arbitrary Detention For International Relations

Countries have, in the past, arrested, detained, and sentenced foreign nationals with dual citizenship as part of their politicking in international relations. It’s not a pleasant subject for any law firm like to deal with, but there’s some good news.

Canada recently launched the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations on February 15, denouncing this particular practice, and looking to protect people who reside, work, and travel abroad from such detentions. The Government of Canada also added that this practice is also a risk to international trade and relations.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau issued a statement to local media, calling the practice illegal, immoral and unacceptable, as well thanking his predecessor, Francois-Philippe Champagne, for leading the declaration.

Fifty-eight countries, as well as the entirety of the EU, endorsed the Canadian government’s declaration, agreeing to take a stand against the practice, acknowledging that their nationals are vulnerable, as well as reaffirming their commitment to the principles of independence of the judiciary, the rule of law, and human rights, as per the terms of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 9(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well Vienna Convention on Consular Relations’ Article 36, Section 1(c).

Canada has also called on other like-minded states to back up the declaration, which is calling for additional action to deal with harsh detention conditions as well as the refusal of human and legal rights.

Garneau says that this is only the first start, and they’re working on finding ways to build and sustain momentum to finally end arbitrary detention across the world.

Amnesty International expressed their support for the Canadian government’s initiative, adding that this initiative should be followed up by properly binding implementation, for legal practitioners like and the international community.

However, Amnesty International noted that the declaration had a narrow focus on detention regarding diplomatic matters, which doesn’t cover all international prisoners, explaining that any kind of arbitrary detention is a breach of international law.

Amnesty International says that they’ll be keeping a close eye on how things turn out.


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