An Act to amend the State Immunity Act and the Criminal Code (deterring terrorism by providing a civil right of action against perpetrators and sponsors of terrorism)

This bill was last introduced in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session, which ended in March 2011.

This bill was previously introduced in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session.

Sponsor

Irwin Cotler  Liberal

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Introduced, as of June 4, 2009
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the State Immunity Act to prevent a foreign state from claiming immunity from the jurisdiction of Canadian courts in respect of legal proceedings that relate to the support of terrorism or terrorist activity engaged in by the foreign state.

It also amends the Criminal Code to provide victims who suffer loss or damage as a result of conduct that is contrary to Part II.1 of the Criminal Code (Terrorism) with a civil remedy against the person who engaged in the terrorist-related conduct.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

State Immunity ActRoutine Proceedings

June 4th, 2009 / 10:05 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-408, An Act to amend the State Immunity Act and the Criminal Code (deterring terrorism by providing a civil right of action against perpetrators and sponsors of terrorism).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill which is an act to amend the State Immunity Act and the Criminal Code, co-sponsored by my hon. colleague from Toronto Centre.

Canadian law presently shields state sponsors of terrorism from justice for Canadian victims. Canadian law presently offers immunity to those countries that expressly seek to harm Canadians. Canadian law regrettably denies a remedy to victims of terror. This bill will right this injustice.

The bill provides justice to victims immediately. It comports with our obligations under international law to both prohibit and combat international terrorism and to provide such a remedy. It does not shield itself behind an escape clause that renders it completely ineffective until foreign states are named on a case-by-case basis. Such an approach politicizes justice.

As Victor Comras, formerly of the U.S. state department, testified here before a Senate committee, let us please learn from the American mistake.

We need to value Canadian rights over foreign state sponsors of terrorism, value action over acquiescence, and value justice over politics.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)