Just a random sampling of news stories that came across my desk in the last two days, offered for interest but also to feed my staple point about the importance of this subject matter to Canada and that it's increasingly relevant and newsworthy.
1) Canada has been roughed up again by Transparency International, slipping from 6th place to 10th place on that organization's annual "Corruption Perceptions Index" for 2011. As the Globe & Mail reports, the head of TI's Canadian branch sees this as good news, as it reflects increasing public awareness of corrupt business practices and our government's poor history in suppressing them. Plus, 10th in the world is still pretty good, and we're the highest-ranking state in the Americas. As reported a while back on this blog, the RCMP has stepped up efforts in this area of late, but forthcoming cuts to their white-collar crime budget may cause us to stall yet again.
2) Abousfian Abdelrazik has been removed from the United Nations' 1267 terrorist blacklist. Thus ends a rather sordid saga of a Canadian citizen whose own government set him up for detention and torture in Sudan, and then actively blocked every effort to get him returned (you can see the Federal Court's decision here, but it's only part of the story -- see more in the Globe's report). It's certainly a good thing for the future that the UN created the Office of the Ombudsperson of the Security Council's 1267 Committee, so that cases like this can be dealt with expeditiously. An even better thing that the current Ombud is a very reputable Canadian lawyer, Kimberly Prost. As reported, however, Mr. Abdelrazik is still unhappy, as evidenced by his multi-million dollar civil action against the government of Canada.
3) In a startling development in Canadian legal publishing, there was a story about the International Criminal Court on the cover of The Lawyers Weekly! Prosecutor Ocampo was the subject of a feature interview (link may eventually expire) when the film about his work, "Prosecutor," was recently screened at the University of Ottawa. In it, he urged Canada to support the Court, predicting that other states (which he declined to name) will attempt to exert influence on it as it completes more cases and increases in power and legitimacy. He also declined to comment on the Canadian government's emphasis on deporting and de-naturalizing suspected core crimes perpetrators, calling it "a Canadian decision."