“The Melancholy Truth”: Corrective and Equitable Justice for Omar Khadr

Andrew Stobo Sniderman

Abstract


Omar Khadr stands for the melancholy proposition that Canadian courts will recognize a rights violation without demanding an effective remedy. Over the years, Khadr secured many legal remedies, but not the one he sought most: a repatriation order. Why? This paper ventures explanations by viewing the final five Khadr judgments through the lenses of corrective and equitable justice. The final section of the paper recasts the case for the repatriation of Omar Khadr based on two principal arguments. First, a context of structural injustice suggests the application of equitable remedial principles rather than corrective justice, even in the transnational context in which Canada cannot impose structural remedies. Second, the Khadr case suggests that declaratory relief is not an appropriate remedy when delay may cause irreparable harm and where the government may be credibly suspected of bad faith.


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