• SURESH V MINISTER OF IMMIGRATION, 
• Capital Punishment banned by Parliament in 1976; attempted reinstatement voted down
by Parliament in 1987;
o Charter s. 12 prohibits ‘cruel and unusual punishment,’ though bearing on capital
punishment is questionable.
No clear meaning vis-a-vis capital punishment
• United States v Burns
o Extradition case to country with capital punishment
o 2 young men, one was Burns. They had killed an American family (in especially
brutal fashion. Beaten w/ bball bats).
o Burns and other were Canadian, committed crime in USA, captured by RCMP in
o USA made standard move to seek extradition.
Extradition -> where s person has committed a crime in another
jurisdiction, that jurisdiction can seek to have the criminal turned over to
face trial in the jurisdiction where crime occurred, by virtue of treaty b/w
o Issue—if these two people were extradited, would likely face execution Dilemma—Canada has decided against capital punishment, that it is not
an acceptable form of punishment. Should it turn people over to
countries where such a fate is likely?
• Not Canada executing CapPun, but they are still, in a way,
Option—Will extradite on condition of not allowing CapPun
o Burns and other argued against extradition according to S. 7, to not be treated by
gov in way that jeopardizes life, etc.
o Court—Must not turn Burns, other over unless guarantee that won’t faced
CapPun, other such legal arbitrariness.
• Suresh case heard May 2001; decision Jan 2002
o Sept. 11, 2001 intervenes:
o Anti-terrorism Act in Canada, December 2001.
Neither event had direct bearing on court, but coloured their decision
• FACTS AND ISSUES IN SURESH
• Suresh was admitted to Canada as refugee from abroad. Canada eventually found he
was a member of terrorist org in Sri Lanka (Tamil Tigers), fundraised for them in Canada • Government sought deportation.
• For deportation to be carried out, there is a process
o Questioning, examination, interviews with boards in ministry, consequences of
• Issue – claimed that if he was deported, he would be tortured, contrary to his protection