Repatriate Hassan Diab and Reform Our Unbalanced Extradition Law

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Repatriation, France, Canada, Held Without Trial, Extradition Act


Canadians have recently become increasingly aware of the plight of Hassan Diab. Diab, a former Ottawa university professor, was extradited from Canada to France in 2014. He has since been held in custody without trial, on the basis of what can increasingly only be called trumped-up charges involving the bombing of a Paris synagogue in 1980. Recently, two prominent Canadian professionals, Bernie Farber and Mira Sucharov, published a piece in the Toronto Star in which they urged the government of Canada to put pressure on France to either try Diab or send him home. Both expressed their regret that they did not speak up earlier.

I am one of a small number of Canadian legal academics with expertise in extradition law, and I have been following the Diab case since the beginning. I have mentioned it in my legal writing, spoken about it in public lectures and discussed it with lawyers on both sides. What I have not done up until now is express publicly a clear position. Reading Farber and Sucharov has moved me to do so, because I too feel that I should have spoken up sooner.