Refugee claimants have the right to challenge their prolonged incarceration before a provincial Superior Court judge, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.
In a 6-1 decision released Friday, justices ruled in favour of Tusif Ur Rehman Chhina, a Pakistan national who challenged his prolonged detention in a maximum-security remand centre in Calgary because he was deemed a security risk.
His case was regularly reviewed by an immigration tribunal, which repeatedly ordered him detained as a flight risk.
The majority of justices found the tribunal process does not provide for a review that is “as broad and advantageous” as a hearing before a Superior Court.
Chhina had been stripped of his refugee status and ordered deported because he misrepresented his identity to Canadian officials and was involved in serious criminality, including possessing a prohibited weapon, forgery and fraud.
Chhina was removed from Canada in September 2017, but the legal case continued to determine whether the current detention determination regime is constitutional.
He had argued his charter rights to liberty and freedom from arbitrary detention were violated.
The ruling focused on a legal provision, habeas corpus, that allows someone in custody to go before a judge to challenge detention. It sets aside an exception that limited migrants without Canadian citizenship to challenge immigration detention through an immigration tribunal or a federal judicial review.
This story originally appeared on CBC