MONTREAL, Oct. 10, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Supreme Court of Canada, in a 6-1 decision, dismissed the appeals of Stephan Kazemi (Hashemi) and the Estate of the late Zahra Kazemi, holding that it is for Parliament to create an exception to state immunity for torture. Stephan Kazemi instituted proceedings in Canada against the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2006 after it became clear that it would be impossible to obtain justice in Iran for the 2003 torture and murder of his mother at the hands of Iranian officials. While we are extremely disappointed with the majority's ruling and its treatment of the fundamental principle of access to justice in a case that the majority itself characterized as "horrific", we echo the call to Parliament to amend the State Immunity Act to put an end to impunity for torture. In the words of the majority:
" Parliament has the power and the capacity to decide whether Canadian courts should exercise civil jurisdiction. Parliament has the ability to change the current state of the law on exceptions to state immunity, just as it did in the case of terrorism, and allow those in situations like Mr. Hashemi and his mother's estate to seek redress in Canadian courts.[…]"
SOURCE: Irving Mitchell Kalichman s.e.n.c.r.l. LLP