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Supreme Court “reads down” human smuggling law

November 27, 2015

Section 117 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act caught too many people in its net.

On November 27, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada held that  s. 117 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which criminalizes human smuggling activities, was unconstitutionally overbroad insofar as it applies to humanitarians, close family members, and refugee claimants providing mutual assistance to each other.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, represented by Marlys Edwardh and Dan Sheppard, intervened in the case – R. v. Appulonappa –  to make submissions on  the proper approach to defining legislative objectives for the purpose of s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Here is our summary of the case and links to the BCCLA’s factum and the Court’s decision.




Daniel Sheppard

Practice Areas

Criminal Law