THE ADVOCATE 565
VOL. 77 PART 4 JULY 2019
PETER A. ALLARD
SCHOOL OF LAW
By Simmi Puri*
PH.D. STUDENT INTERVENES IN HIGH-PROFILE IMMIGRATION CASE
Allard Law Ph.D. student Molly Joeck,† with research assistance from three
J.D. students (Christopher Fukushima, Jean Murray and James Long),
appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada last fall in a landmark immigration
detention case. She did so alongside two co-counsel, Erica Olmstead
and Peter Edelmann, on behalf of the Canadian Council for Refugees.
The high-profile case, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
v. Chhina,†† is about the right of immigration detainees to challenge
the lawfulness of their detention by way of habeas corpus, which allows anyone
being held in custody the right to challenge their detention before a
judge. Currently, the ability of non-citizens to challenge their detention on
immigration grounds via habeas corpus is unclear because of a 1989 decision
of the Ontario Court of Appeal called Peiroo v. Canada (Minister of Employment
and Immigration (1989), 69 O.R. (2d) 253.
The case that reached the Supreme Court of Canada was brought forward
by Tusif Ur Rehman Chhina, a Pakistani citizen who sought refugee protection
in Canada but was detained after authorities learned he had misrepresented
his identity to the Canadian government and was involved in
criminal activity. The Immigration and Refugee Board held 12 reviews of
his detention, but he was ordered to remain detained each time. He has
since been deported to Pakistan.
In November 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada heard from interveners
(including the Canadian Council for Refugees) who argued that immigra-
* Simmi Puri is the communications coordinator for UBC Faculty of Law.
† Molly Joeck is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Allard Law while working as a lawyer with Edelmann and Co, practising
in all areas of immigration and refugee law.
†† This piece was written before the release of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the case described: 2019 SCC