Forum will examine government action on issues related to torture

Canadian policies and actions on issues related to torture will be on the agenda at a special forum Wednesday where panellists will discuss topics, such as the use of evidence in Canadian courts obtained by means of torture.

The forum, Evidence of Torture in Canada: The New Normal of Official Complicity?, will take place Jan. 9, from 12:30 to 6pm at the Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security, 1014 Ignat Kaneff Building, Osgoode Hall Law School, Keele campus. Everyone is welcome to attend the event.

The panels will also focus on topics such as recent federal directives on sharing information with headshot of François Tanguay-Renaudforeign powers and the government’s position on torture in armed conflicts such as the Afghan conflict.

François Tanguay-Renaud

The forum seeks to take stock of the current state of the “torture question” in Canada, provide a platform for public debate about the issue, and spur further discussions about its most pressing and problematic aspects.

Parliamentarians, former civil servants, journalists, advocates and academics will examine how the federal government has treated issues of torture in recent years, notably in light of the conclusions of relevant public inquiries held over the past decade.

Professor François Tanguay-Renaud, director of the Nathanson Centre, will introduce the topics at 12:30pm, followed by three panels:

headshot of Benjamin BergerEvidence of Torture in the Courts: The Immigration, Criminal, and Civil Contexts (12:40 to 2:20pm)

Professor Benjamin Berger (right) of Osgoode Hall Law School will chair the first panel comprised of Barbara Jackman of Jackman, Nazami & Associates; Anil Kapoor, special advocate at Kapoor Barristers; Professor James Stribopoulos of Osgoode Hall Law School; and Lorne Waldman of Lorne Waldman and Associates.

headshot of Raymond BoisvertEvidence of Torture & Executive Action: The CSIS, RCMP, CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) Issues (2:30 to 4:10pm)

Osgoode Adjunct Professor Ron Atkey, first chair, Security Intelligence Review Committee (1985-89), will chair the second panel comprised of Raymond Boisvert (left), former assistant director, intelligence (CSIS); Professor David Cole of Georgetown University; and Professor Kent Roach of the University of Toronto.

headshot of Craig ScottEvidence of Torture & Armed Conflicts: Afghan Detainees and Other Cases (4:20 to 6pm)

Craig Scott (right), member of parliament for Toronto-Danforth, will chair the final panel of the day comprised of Professor Amir Attaran of the University of Ottawa; Murray Brewster of the Canadian Press; Walter Dorn of the Canadian Forces College; and Chris Madsen of the Canadian Forces College.

For more information, visit the Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security website or contact Lielle Gonsalves, assistant to the Nathanson Centre, at