Sale armored: Daniel Turp wins a first round

Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth Associated Press
The minister of foreign Affairs had announced last summer that it would review the case after that Riyadh had acknowledged having used armoured vehicles to canadian civilians.

Professor Daniel Turp has won the first round in its battle against Ottawa for the invalidation of the sale of light armoured vehicles to saudi Arabia. The federal Court concluded that his case could go forward, because it is neither “redundant” nor necessarily doomed to failure.


The constitutionalist and former mp bloquiste then pq, assisted by a handful of his law students at the University of Montreal, has been attempting to invalidate a contract estimated to be worth $ 15 billion between the ontario’s manufacturing General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) to the saudi regime.


The number of light armoured vehicles (LAV) that the company must provide has not been disclosed, although some speak of thousands.


The contract was approved by the conservative government, but the liberals of Justin Trudeau, who issued it in April 2016 for the first export permit.


Mr. Turp has attempted for the first time — in vain — to invalidate such permit on the grounds that Ottawa had failed to meet its legal obligation to ensure that the equipment would not be used against civilians.


The federal Court ruled in January that Ottawa had made the necessary checks. The Court had relied on a secret memo provided by world Affairs Canada, concluding after analysis that there was no risk to civilians saudis.


But that assurance was shattered last summer when photos showed that the LAV canadians have been used by the regime against civilians during the siege of the city of Awamiyah. The saudi arabian embassy in Ottawa has recognized these facts.


Mr. Turp tries again to invalidate the export permit on the basis of this latest development. Ottawa wanted to invalidate this second approach because it ” presents no chance of success, it is redundant and that it is ultimately an abuse of process “. It is this attempt that the judge Luc Martineau dismissed Tuesday.

The willingness of Ottawa to prevent the further demonstrates the extent to which it was uncomfortable with the use of
Daniel Turp, professor of law at the université de montréal

“The cause of action in 2017 is not the same in 2016,” wrote the judge, adding later that ” the settings have clearly changed since the ministerial authority of 2016. As the minister refuses to suspend or cancel export licences issued in GDLS, it is the responsibility of this Court to make an assessment of the reasonableness of the new decision of the minister at a hearing of substance “.


The judge recalls that the first cause was to ensure that the government had made the necessary checks before issuing the export licenses. The new question is whether the refusal of the government to cancel the licenses, knowing that the armored vehicles were used against civilians, ” constitutes a decision that is unreasonable “.


Mr Turp said that he welcomed “with enthusiasm,” this decision. “The willingness of Ottawa to prevent the further demonstrates the extent to which it was uncomfortable with the use. “


The minister of foreign Affairs, asked by chrystia Freeland, had announced last summer that it would review the case after that Riyadh had acknowledged that he had used LAV canadians against civilians. The conclusion of this review — if it has been carried to term — has never been made public.


“The blur,” complains, moreover, Mr. Turp. It welcomes the fact that the judge did not let him stop by this blur and has agreed to go forward with the case. The office of Ms. Freeland has not responded to our questions.


The first cause of Mr. Turp has also been appealed and a decision is imminent.


In the evening, world Affairs Canada has sent a written reaction in which it is stated that “Canada expects that the final user of all exports in compliance with the conditions of end use as specified in export permits issued “and that” Canada pointed directly to the Kingdom of saudi Arabia and its security operations should respect the international rights of the person “.