David Pelham, Warden of Bowden Institution et al. v Omar Khadr; International Transfer of Offenders Act; ITOA; habeas corpus; ITOA; ITOAPosted March 4, 2016
Lerners represents the Intervener, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, in this appeal of a Correctional Service of Canada (“CSC”) decision pertaining to enforcement of a foreign sentence. The Respondent pled guilty before a United States Military Commission to five offences committed in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old and was sentenced to a single eight-year sentence. After serving the first year of his sentence, the Respondent applied to serve the remainder of his sentence in Canada. Interpreting the International Transfer of Offenders Act (“ITOA”), the CSC deemed the Respondent to be serving adult sentences for four of the five offences and determined he was to be detained in a federal penitentiary. The Respondent made a habeas corpus application that was dismissed by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, but was successful on appeal to the Alberta Court of Appeal, which found that the ITOA did not deem the respondent to be serving an adult sentence. The Warden of the Edmonton Institution and the Attorney General of Canada appeal on the question of how Canadian correctional officials are to interpret and apply the sentence enforcement provisions of the ITOA upon an offender’s transfer to Canada from a foreign jurisdiction when the foreign jurisdiction imposed a single sentence on multiple convictions (Supreme Court of Canada, May 14, 2015).