21 octobre 2015


McGill Faculty of Law room 100 (Moot court room) 3660 Peel


Dennis Edney has been invited to speak at McGill University’s Law Faculty on October 21, 2015. The event is being hosted by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Association des juristes progressistes.

Mr. Edney is expected to talk about the rule of law in an age of fear; about how the post 9/11 climate of fear and insecurity has been exploited to justify long standing human rights violations carried out in the name of national security. This has led to an intense debate over where the balance lies between the rule of law, human rights and civil liberties on the one hand and security on the other. It is Mr. Edney’s position that if we do not get the balance right, we can fall into lawlessness. One has to look no further than Guantanamo Bay.

Mr. Edney has spent more than a decade advocating on behalf of Omar Khadr, known as the youngest prisoner and last Western national to be incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay. Mr. Khadr, a 15 year old Canadian citizen at the time of his capture in Afghanistan, also holds the dubious distinction of being the first person to be prosecuted by a military commission for purported war crimes he is claimed to have committed while still a child.

Mr. Edney’s victories (alongside co-counsel Nate Whitling) include: having Mr. Khadr repatriated back to Canada, being on the winning side of three separate Supreme Court of Canada judgments centered around Mr. Khadr’s legal rights, and more recently -securing Mr. Khadr’s release on bail while appealing his Military Commission convictions in the United States. Mr. Edney and Mr. Whitling have done so on a largely pro bono basis, reaching into their own pockets to represent Mr. Khadr.

Perhaps even more controversial is the fact that Mr. Edney is more than Mr. Khadr’s lawyer. He lives with him. One of the linchpins in securing Mr. Khadr’s release from jail was the fact that Mr. Edney and his wife Patricia offered their home as Mr. Khadr’s residence, something unheard of in legal circles.