House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was park.

Topics

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is there unanimous consent to extend the time for questions or comments?

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
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12:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
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12:35 p.m.

An hon. member

No.

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
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12:35 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, it might have been interesting to hear another version from the Reform Party. Since this party's inception, it has changed its position on a number of things as it evolved in this House.

Like most of the parties here, we wanted unanimous support to be given Bill C-19. Unfortunately, the Reform Party has decided otherwise. Before I move on to my speech, I would like to express my condemnation of the socio-juridic-politico stupidity of the Reform's argument on Bill C-19.

Like my colleague for Burnaby—Douglas, I too hope that people will once again realize the true stripes of the Reform Party and will act accordingly when they vote in the election of this fall or next spring.

With modern communications, it has become impossible for the rest of the planet not to know what atrocities are going on in a country during wartime.

The international community has had a moral obligation to join forces and to refuse to tolerate such reprehensible acts as the Nazi concentration camps, and genocide in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone and Sudan. It has become clear that universal standards are required for the protection of the most vulnerable populations.

Although there is much still to be done in order to ensure world peace and security for all peoples, adoption of the Rome Statute in July 1998, which created the International Criminal Court, represents a giant step toward the establishment of an effective international justice system to combat the worst atrocities known to man and to punish the perpetrators.

It is all a matter of political will, as we can see very clearly in this case. For the first time, the international community has decided to act, not in keeping with the interests of one or another of its members, the security council in particular, but in the interests of human rights, by refusing to turn a blind eye to the most serious crimes recognized by international law, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

As we has said on a number of occasions, the Progressive Conservative Party supports and strongly approves of Bill C-19. Incidentally, I would like once again—who knows, perhaps for the last time—to congratulate the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, who all worked together on this initiative, without getting into partisan politics, with the exception perhaps of the Reform Party.

As we mentioned on several occasions, Bill C-19 seeks to implement Canada's obligations under the Rome Statute which, as I said earlier, was adopted on July 17, 1998 by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, the ICC.

With this bill, Canada displays leadership and clearly shows to the international community that it will not be a haven for war criminals.

The International Criminal Court will be the first international authority empowered to investigate the most serious of crimes under international law. These include genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

It was unacceptable that war criminals could quietly live out their lives as if nothing had happened, even though they had taken part in indescribable atrocities.

Just this past weekend, the United Nations said that women are often the first victims of conflicts. Sanam Anderlini, from the British group International Alert, said that “women's bodies have become the new battlefield”. Indeed, as we saw in Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Rwanda, 80% of the refugees and displaced people during wars are women and children. Many of these women were raped and abducted. They went through forced pregnancies. They were treated like sexual or domestic slaves the world over.

These crimes are not recent. However, they have gone unpunished because they took place in the context of war and because of the failure to act of the international community, which preferred to turn a blind eye.

I am glad that these crimes will no longer be tolerated, that they will be considered crimes against humanity, and that, through Bill C-19, Canada is taking the first steps towards making this a reality.

One point I wish to come back to is the defence that someone was acting under a superior's orders. We have heard from people who seemed hesitant about these provisions.

Let us remember the defence in the Finta decision, in which Finta's lawyer quite rightly argued that, under the provisions of the criminal code of the time, members of military or police forces could use following a superior's orders as a defence.

In times of war, most crimes are committed either because a superior has issued an order, or has looked the other way. Is the deed any less reprehensible? Is the crime any less terrible? No.

Now, this kind of defence will no longer be possible, except of course in accordance with international law. These provisions were necessary and show politicians' determination to act.

Another feature of the bill is its retroactivity. In this connection, a number of people also expressed some misgivings. Nevertheless, I congratulate the minister and the committee on their work. In most cases, the actions in question took place during the second world war, or during conflicts prior to the signature of the Rome Statute.

We must be realistic, however. Since most of the facts date back more than 50 years, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find those who perpetrated war crimes or crimes against humanity, particularly under the Nazi regime. As well, problems have arisen in the past when Department of Justice officials tried to find witnesses in order to justify extradition of a suspect. Without retroactivity, the bill would not have made much sense.

The International Criminal Court complements our existing courts; it does not replace them. The presumption of innocence still applies. It is, however, important to take into consideration the customary rules of international law. It is normal, since it is not internal law but international criminal law we are addressing today. There is an essential distinction we must understand.

Because of the complexity of its objective, Bill C-19 prohibits anyone from possessing any property or any proceeds of property knowing it was obtained as the result of the perpetration of the proposed new crimes. This is a good provision, because Canada and the Progressive Conservative Party both support the principle that no one must profit from any type of crime, war crimes in particular.

Obviously, if the government wants war criminals to be found guilty, certain other pieces of legislation also need amending. The changes proposed for the Citizenship Act and the Extradition Act, for example, will facilitate prosecution.

Clause 33 of Bill C-19 is aimed at amending the Citizenship Act so that a person under investigation by the Minister of Justice, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the Canadian Security Intelligence Service for an offence under any of the crimes set out in Bill C-19 may not be granted citizenship or administered the oath of citizenship.

As to Bill C-19, Canada will now be obliged to hand over individuals sought by the international criminal court for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. Under section 48 of the Extradition Act, a person who is the subject of a request for surrender by the court may not claim immunity from arrest or surrender.

I could say more on the need for this legislation, but I will conclude by saying that the victims of war have been through terrible trials. With Bill C-19, Canada is taking a stand by saying that no war criminal is welcome on its soil. This position has the support of Canadians and the Progressive Conservative Party. We will not tolerate Canada's being a haven for war criminals.

Bill C-19 is important. All the members of the committee did an exceptional job and I would like to congratulate them. I hope that the Canadian Alliance members will think twice about this. Right now, over 12 countries—and France too, today—are passing legislation enabling the Rome statute to be implemented. It will take the support of 60 countries.

I heard the Canadian Alliance critic saying that we had to wait. If everyone waits, nothing will get done. Already the international community has waited too long to act. Nothing is perfect, but the fact of acting immediately with Bill C-19 could at least perhaps prevent or certainly send a signal that the international community is ready and will be even more so in the future to deal with these most heinous crimes.

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
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12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague and friend, who is a distinguished jurist in his own right, the hon. member for Mount Royal.

In speaking in the third reading debate to the crimes against humanity and war crimes act, I will take note of a fact, which I think is rather exceptional, that the debates in the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade were exhaustive and at a very high level of technical competence. It reminded me of what the late president of old World Court, Manley Hudson, called an academy of jurists. In that sense, although it is still possible to offer projects of amendments, I hope that some of the parties will accept what I am doing, simply make points of clarification in the debate which courts can take note of as part of the travaux préparatoires in their future interpretations.

My first point is that the bill is enacting into Canadian law the provisions of an international treaty. As a matter of law, of Canadian constitutional law, it suffices for Canada to be bound by an international convention that we sign and that we ratify by executive act. In fact we gave this opinion to the foreign minister when I was parliamentary secretary a little earlier on the land mines treaty, because we wanted to send the symbolic message of the treaty coming to legal conclusion within a year of opening for signature. We could ratify without the enacting legislation and be legally bound. The practice since the privy council decision in the labour convention case in 1937 has been to recognize that since a legislative power to implement may be split sometimes between provinces and the federal government, it makes good sense to await provincial action. I mention that, nevertheless, because that is the position in law.

In implementing the treaty the Canadian government creates new jurisdictional bases and also new substantive bases of criminal liability or delinquencies within Canadian law. I would like to add this point because it does relate to some of the amendments I think suggested by the Bloc and by the New Democratic Party. It does not per se displace customary international law. I would suggest that except to the extent that customary international law may be in direct conflict with Canadian constitutional law or legislation enacted thereunder, it is in force and is a supplement to the treaty. There may be jurisdictional and other difficulties in implementing, but it is there.

I would simply refer to your notice, the judgment of the World Court in Nicaragua v United States, rendered by 15 votes to 1, in which the court refused to accept that the adoption of the United Nations charter had pre-empted all of international law, that it was all under the charter and nothing else. It said that was not so. Customary international law still prevails and the court based its judgment in Nicaragua v United States on customary international law.

A third point arises after the Rome treaty becomes law. It comes into force in international law when it is ratified by the 60 states stipulated as necessary to enact it. I raise the question: Does it bind non-signatory, non-ratifying states? I would here suggest the five permanent members of the security council. I am delighted to learn that the French government has decided to ratify this treaty. That is a breach in the opposition of the five permanent members of the security council that we had in Rome.

Monsieur Richard, the French minister of defence who was here several months ago, discussed this very earnestly with some of us and I became convinced that France would come through and I hope it will be an example to other permanent members: Russia, Great Britain, China and the United States, not least. There was the then heretical opinion by the brilliant Polish judge, Manfred Lachs, the most interesting judge in the post-war world court, in the North Sea Continental Shelf case, a dissenting opinion, but he did say that treaties by the universality of their reach and perhaps also the number of countries adhering to them could become binding on non-signatory, non-ratifying states because they are part of general international law. That was an heretical opinion 30 years ago when that decision was given. It is no longer heretical. It has become a more or less general part of law opinio iuris. Not everybody accepts it, but I cite it simply as an indication to the other remaining hold-outs who are permanent members of the security council. In the Latin phrase quod licet Jovie, licet bovi; what is permitted to Jove on high should be permitted to the humble oxen below.

It does not make sense for countries to push the jurisdiction of the ad hoc tribunal for Yugoslavia if they are not themselves prepared to say “We will be bound by the Rome treaty”.

An issue has arisen here as to the applicability of ordinary Canadian criminal law in ordinary Canadian courts. It is the General Pinochet factor. It is the most interesting, exciting and unexpected development in international law in the last year or two. The House of Lords in its judicial committee, normally known as a very conservative tribunal, took two big steps forward in asserting jurisdiction over General Pinochet. The home secretary made the political decision and took one and a half steps backward, but it is still there.

Under Canadian law any Canadian judge, in theory, subject of course always to the possibility of appeal, could find jurisdiction over a citizen of a foreign state, including even friendly foreign states and allies, if he or she so wished and felt there was an adequate base in Canadian law. The General Pinochet factor remains a wild card in international law, but it is interesting how much it has involved ordinary citizens, ordinary people and non-governmental associations in the international lawmaking process.

I am simply saying that the Rome treaty is a comprehensive and well thought out approach to universalizing jurisdiction over the most severe sort of crimes, crimes against humanity. It follows in the principle that was established in the first aerial piracy conventions and the first moves to control terrorism, of the hue and cry. That there is no safe place.

I do not expect the General Pinochet factor to be paramount in Canadian practice or even perhaps to occur, but it might be worth reminding people who have crimes on their conscience that if they want to take a holiday abroad or consult for medical treatment abroad, it is not really “Do not go to Great Britain”, but perhaps also “Do not go to Canada”.

I will note a last and general point because it emerged during the debate in the standing committee on foreign affairs and was the subject of thoughtful evidence by members of our permanent foreign ministry staff. It is a matter of law, and I note it and will read it into the record. The testimony led before the standing committee was quite directly that Canadian military personnel did not participate in those aerial missions which have been the focus of much public attention and debate in connection with Kosovo. But, and these are the affirmative points, Canada accepted the jurisdiction of the UN international tribunal for the former Yugoslavia over Canadian forces throughout the conflict. Also, in regard to every Canadian mission flown, a Canadian forces legal officer examined the target assigned with a view to ensuring its lawfulness under Canadian law and also international law.

That is a good example of respect for international law and a recognition that in policy decisions it is good to have the international law adviser at one's side. We know that during the Cuban missile crisis President Kennedy had his legal adviser, the very great, recently deceased, Professor Abe Chayes of the Harvard Law School, at his side. The action taken, among many options, was to choose that action which was compatible with international law, and it was effective. It is a good principle to note: keep the legal adviser at hand. We can do what is politically the right thing, but we can also do it compatibly with international law.

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
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12:55 p.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has made some very good comments, which I have listened to carefully.

I have a question for the hon. member. Since the definition and procedures and evidence rules are not very clear in the bill, nor are they spelled out, why does the government want to rush? Why did it not want to wait until the right procedures, rules of evidence and the definitions were place? We understand that there needs to be 60 members to ratify. So far only 8 or 10 members have signed to ratify. We still have some time. In the absence of the clarity, the definitions and the procedures, the government should not have rushed this through.

Second, this is a very important bill. We normally point out difficulties in the international community when we have to distinguish the bad guy from good guys. All the good guys will sign the international treaty but the bad guys will not. How would the hon. member propose we hold the bad guys accountable and ensure they sign the treaty?

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
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1 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the point I have been making is that with the progressive development of international law under the United Nations charter, it is a step in international law, initially sponsored by Judge Lachs and that very interesting dissenting opinion in 1968, that non-signatories to an international treaty can be legally bound by the treaty either, to use an analogy, because the treaty becomes, by virtue of the number of states signing it, part of customary international law, or because the sheer number indicates it is part of the general principles of law recognized by nations under article 38(1)(d) of the World Court statute.

What we are saying here is, beware. The mere fact that a country does not sign, does not mean that it can escape responsibility. I do expect that with the progressive development of international law, further steps may be taken to extend jurisdiction through the Security Council or elsewhere over non-signatory states where the gravity of the offence suggests it. However, at the moment we are working with friendly persuasion.

When we spoke several months ago to the French minister, Mr. Richard, a most interesting and thoughtful gentleman, we made the case for France signing and ratifying the treaty, and it has done it. We are hoping we can persuade other countries, the other four members of the Security Council, to feel the same. It makes good sense.

We asked United States senators in Washington several weeks ago why they did not sign, because they are the strong force behind the war crimes tribunal on Yugoslavia, but it really does not make much sense for them to say they are taking themselves out of jurisdiction.

Canada is very proud of its forces and has full confidence in them. We say that we will accept their subjection to the war crimes tribunal on the former Yugoslavia, That was an act of faith, but it has not gone wrong. I am satisfied that the Canadian forces acted in full conformity with international law in their part in the Kosovo action.

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
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1 p.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, I did not get the answer to my first question. Why was there such a rush to ram this bill through parliament, particularly when it is quite likely that the House will be recessing before the weekend? Why could we not have waited until September or October when the international negotiations, the definitions, the procedures and the rules of evidence will be laid down and the rules of the game will be clear. Why did the government not wait until the rules of the game were clear and then draft a perfectly excellent bill that all parties could support?

Everyone is supporting the intent of the bill. Even the Canadian Alliance supports the intent of the bill but we do not want to leave the bill half cooked. We want to make sure it is well done. I would like to know why there was such a hurry.

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
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1 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member has fought a long time to get full respect for committees and the plenary powers they have in the elaboration and drafting of bills. I would simply repeat that on this particular section the amount of time given to this particular bill in the standing committee was extraordinary. It was an example to all other committees. It involved 10, 12, 14 and 16 hours of point by point elaboration. May I say that in my capacity as president for the next two years of the Institut de droit international, it was a superb performance and a great credit to the quality of our committees. We have four international lawyers in parliament and I am told that is 400% greater than the British parliament, the United States congress or others. I signal the contribution of others in the committee. The committee did a remarkable job. I do not think there is any rush. Some may even have said that we spent too much time.

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
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1:05 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to express my appreciation to the hon. member for Vancouver Quadra for suggesting that he would split his time with me, but I wish to speak in my own right and take the full 20 minutes.

I rise to speak to Bill C-19, the crimes against humanity and war crimes act, at a historic moment of remembrance and reminder, of witness and warning, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the codification by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950 of the Nuremberg principles which are symbol and substance, source and inspiration of the revolution in international human rights law in general and international humanitarian law in particular.

For the Nuremberg principles codified for the first time, the Grundnorm principle that individuals, including heads of state, are criminally responsible for the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Nor can individuals plead acts of state or superior orders as exculpatory grounds for their criminality. For these Nuremberg crimes were deemed to be crimes against humankind itself. Those who commit them are hostis humanis generis, the enemies of humankind, while the rights violated would include every right protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Magna Carta of humankind.

It is not surprising then, given the continuing and pervasive state of international atrocity and criminality since judgment at Nuremberg, and the impunity accompanying it, that the idea and inspiration for establishing an international criminal court has remained on the international agenda with greater or less visibility since judgment at Nuremberg.

However, it took the globalized horror of the killing fields of the nineties, the horror of Bosnia, the agony of Rwanda, the brutalized women and children of Sierra Leone and Sudan, the emergence of the unthinkable, ethnic cleansing, and the unspeakable, genocide, as paridigmatic forms of armed conflict in the nineties, to give the idea of an international criminal court the moral compellability and sense of urgency that it warrants.

The establishment of an international criminal court was an idea whose time had come, indeed, was long overdue. What distinguishes the international criminal court from the ad hoc tribunals is that the ICC is the first permanent international tribunal with a global jurisdiction to try individuals for criminal violations of international humanitarian law.

Unlike the International Court of Justice, whose contentious jurisdiction is restricted to states, the ICC will have juridical authority to indict individuals from any global killing field, and unlike the ad hoc character of the Yugoslavian and Rwandan war crimes tribunals, the jurisdiction of the ICC will not be chronologically or geographically limited.

Bill C-19 is designed to implement in Canada the statute for an ICC, to provide a Canadian legislative foundation for the prosecution of war criminals so as to ensure that Canada will not become a haven for war criminals past or present, and to serve as an international model for Nuremberg legacy legislation.

Accordingly, I will first describe briefly the purposive character of the ICC and why it is of such moral and juridical compellability and urgency at this time. Second, I will outline the principles underlying Bill C-19. For reasons of time, I will limit myself to identifying rather than elaborating upon the respective purposes and principles of the ICC and Bill C-19.

I will turn now to the purposive character of the ICC, which may be summarized as follows.

Principle number one is to institutionalize and internationalize the Nuremberg legacy. In a word, there will be no safe havens for these hostis humanis generis, the enemies of humankind.

Principle number two is to end the culture of impunity. Despite the Nuremberg and Tokyo principles and precedents, impunity has been the national and international practice. The ICC will presage a culture of accountability as an antidote to a culture of impunity.

Principle number three is to deter international crimes and protect international peace and security. An ICC will not only deter prospective war criminals and génocidaires from killing their own citizens, let alone nationals from other countries, but it will facilitate and protect peacekeeping as well as the protection of international peace and security.

Principle number four is to counter the failure of national systems. In an ideal world, international crimes should be dealt with by national authorities of the state in which they were committed. In the real world, however, governments are often unwilling, even unable, to call their own citizens to account, as exemplified by the Yugoslavian and Rwandan experiences.

Principle number five is to remedy the limitations of such ad hoc tribunals. In a word, these ad hoc tribunals, such as in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, are no substitute for a permanent international tribunal. Politically, the selective establishment of such tribunals by the Security Council gives rise to allegations or apprehensions of political bias. Juridically, it is jurisprudential authority that is more situation specific than internationally specific.

Principle number six is to provide enforcement mechanisms. In a word, the ICC is necessary to overcome one of the main failings of international criminal law: the lack of a permanent, institutionalized enforcement system.

Principle number seven is to provide an alternative to military sanctions. There is presently no permanent, non-military or coercive juridical mechanism to hold individual perpetrators accountable. In such circumstances, the international community's only recourse is to impose sanctions, embargoes or to use military force. However, these are blunt instruments that may harm innocent civilians, as in Iraq, more than affect perpetrators. By focusing the rule of law more precisely on individual violators, international law would become more just and more effective.

Principle number eight is to afford redress for victims and their families, if not affected populations as a whole.

Principle number nine is to provide a counter to any historical revisionism after the fact and a means for truth, healing and reconciliation.

Principle number ten is to serve as an international justice model, as a standard-bearer in the implementation of international norms both domestically and internationally.

I will turn now to the basic principles underlying Bill C-19 itself.

The first principle is the individual criminal responsibility. This legislation is organized around the foundational Nuremberg principle, as set forth in the judgment of the Nuremberg tribunal itself, and I quote, that “crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing the individuals who commit such crimes can international law be enforced”.

The second principle is the domestication of ICC crimes. Bill C-19 will create offences based on the Rome statute of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes that would apply to such international criminal conduct if committed in Canada, while similar offences would be created with respect to international criminal conduct committed outside Canada.

The third principle is the principle of command and superior responsibility. The bill includes offences of breach of responsibility by military commanders and other superiors. In a word, failure of a military commander or superior to exercise control over persons under their authority which results in the subordinates committing genocide, a crime against humanity or war crimes, could result in the criminal responsibility of the military commanders or superiors if they failed to take measures to repress the crime or to submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation.

Principle number four is that of state responsibility for international crimes. States are under an obligation to prosecute, or to extradite for purposes of prosecution, any individuals present in their territory who are accused of international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

Principle number five is that of universal jurisdiction. As the perpetrators of such international crimes are indeed defined as the enemies of humankind, Canada now has the legislative basis to prosecute the perpetrators of such crimes from whatever source, if they are found in Canada.

Principle number six is that of complementarity, a principle of particular importance. In a word the ICC is designed to complement, not replace, national courts. It will therefore exercise jurisdiction where national courts are unwilling or unable to bring perpetrators to justice.

Principle number seven is that of offences against the ICC. Bill C-19 includes offences to protect the integrity of legal processes under the international criminal court and to protect judges and officials of the ICC as well as witnesses. In particular, it includes offences of obstructing justice, obstructing officials, bribery of judges and officials, perjury, fabricating or giving contradictory evidence, and intimidation of officials or witnesses.

I come now to principle number eight, the principle of protection against gender violence. The ICC statute includes explicit provisions for crimes of sexual and gender violence, identifying as crimes against humanity and war crimes, conduct that is directed specifically against women, such as “rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, enforced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable violence”.

Principle number nine is that of the protection of children in armed conflict. The Rome statute also includes as a war crime the conscripting or enlisting of children under the age of 15 into national armed forces or using them to actively participate in hostilities in international armed conflict. This is a principle central to Canada's human security agenda.

Principle number 10 is the aiding and abetting principle. Persons who aid and abet, counsel, or otherwise assist in the commission of an offence are considered to be parties to that offence. The bill has also been amended to close any loopholes with respect to the inclusion of attempts, conspiracies and being an accessory after the fact.

Principle number 11 is with respect to the forced transfer of civilian populations into an occupied territory. The prohibition against forced transfer of a civilian population into an occupied territory by an occupying power will adhere to the intent and scope of the offence as set forth in the Geneva Conventions Act of 1949, as per the footnote to the ICC, and to protect against the politicization of this offence.

With respect to principle number 12, Bill C-19, unlike as some have said, does cover non-state actors. The bill provides criminal liability for “persons” which, pursuant to section 2 of the criminal code, includes legal entities such as corporations.

Principle number 13 is that of reparations. Victims will be entitled to reparations including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation.

Principle number 14 is a particularly important one, the principle of non-immunity, the Pinochet principle and beyond. In a word a person who is the subject of a request for surrender by the ICC, pursuant to clauses 48 and 70 of the bill, will not be able to claim immunity under common law or statute from arrest or extradition under the Extradition Act.

As well, a person who is the subject of a domestic prosecution, including a head of state or senior official, will not be able to claim immunity from prosecution under common law or statute, as set forth in clause 3 of the bill. The principle of non-immunity in section 27 of the ICC statute coupled with article 98 in that statute, may arguably be said to have been incorporated by reference in the domestication in Bill C-19 of the ICC statute itself.

Principle number 15 is that of due process. The ICC statute incorporates the highest international standards of the right to fair trial and due process, while Canadian law is further buttressed by due process guarantees as set forth in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and related jurisprudence.

Principle number 16 is that of the superior orders defence. The scope of the superior orders defence has been clarified in the bill. Consistent with the Rome statute, persons accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, or other manifestly unlawful acts would not—I repeat, would not—be able to raise this defence. Further, and to address any adverse fallout from the Finta decision, a person would not be able to base a defence on hate propaganda against an identifiable group as grounds for defence against international crimes.

The last principle is principle number 17, that of state co-operation. State parties such as Canada are obliged to co-operate fully with the ICC, a principle anchored in our own mutual legal assistance and related legislation.

In summary, Bill C-19 is comprehensive, historic, indeed watershed legislation by any national or international standard. It is an expression and an example of the best witness testimony of representative human rights NGOs who appeared before the committee, as well as the expertise of the legal advisors and the members of all parties on the foreign affairs committee, such as the expertise of the hon. member for Beauharnois—Salaberry.

The legislation, as I indicated at the outset, is being enacted at a historic moment of remembrance and reminder on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the codification by the United Nations General Assembly of the Nuremberg principles in 1950. This legislation may be said to be the contemporary embodiment of an expanded, refined, updated set of Nuremberg principles for the new millennium. It will place Canada at the forefront of the international justice movement and give juridical validation to the anguished plea of victims and survivors from the Holocaust to the present day killing fields of “never again”.

It is a wake-up call and a warning to tyrants everywhere. There will be no safe havens, no base or sanctuary for the enemies of humankind. It is now incumbent upon Canada to take the lead in securing the necessary ratifications to bring the international criminal court treaty into effect and to ensure the dream and the efficacy of our own domestic landmark legislation.

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
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1:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is the House ready for the question?

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1:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
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1:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Act
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1:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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1:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.