Canadian Court Rules Human Smuggling Laws “Too Broad”

The British Columbia Supreme Court has struck down a human smuggling statute in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, because it could result in refugee’s family members and humanitarian workers facing criminal charges for human smuggling.

New Refugee Laws

Photo from the Toronto Star

The Act was recently amended to make it tougher on human smugglers, who rarely set foot in Canada. The changes drew plenty of criticism from human rights organizations because while the changes were geared towards severely punishing human smugglers who bring refugees to Canada, they also violate the human rights of many refugees who come to Canada every year.

While the specific section, section 117 (which makes it a crime to help someone come to Canada without the proper paperwork) was not changed, this act by the British Columbia Supreme Court could mean that the Act needs rewriting.

Two men were on trial in British Columbia, accused of human smuggling after arriving in Canada via the Ocean Lady, along with 72 other people as refugees. The trials are now on hold as the British Columbia Supreme Court has indicated the section is way too “broad”.

The government is expected to appeal and take the chance to rewrite the law, because if they do not appeal it would make it legal to help people come to Canada without the proper documents.

More on this can be found in this Vancouver Sun column, available here.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

The content and comments of this blog are not legal advise and and may not be accurate or complete. If you require legal advice, contact a licensed legal practitioner directly. If you post on this blog, you assume full responsibility for disclosing your identity to the public and VisaPlace nor its affiliates are not responsible for protecting your privacy nor your identity concerning your participation in our blog and you assume any risks in participating.

Customer Reviews

Completely smooth process. Rania did a great job in my Canada work permit. The team is absolutely competent and knowledgeable. Alicea was so amazing and was able to answer any of my questions immediately. I had peace of mind throughout the application. I would recommend them to other friends looking for assistance with their applications.

Theressa Jaranillain the last week

I highly recommend VisaPlace to anyone seeking help with navigating the legal minefield that is Permanent Residency. As someone who is very easily stressed, Lauren & Mariana have saved me a lot of sleepless nights. They are fast, efficient, reliable and honest and I will be telling any of my friends to use them for immigration. Thanks to them, my future with my husband in Canada is bright

Hannah James2 weeks ago

Visa place is the best!!! I use Yasmeen to do paperwork work for my mom to come to Canada and she was amazing. Very helpful and always reply to your email promptly. My experience was awesome everything was a success and I will recommend VISA PLACE to anyone who want quick and successful results. Thank to all the team at Visa Place but a special thank you to Yasmeen again.

Donnica Waugha month ago