Daniel Turp v. Minister of Foreign Affairs
(Federal Court) (Civil) (By Leave)
Public international law - Public international law — Granting of export permits — Light armoured vehicles — Minister of Foreign Affairs granting export permits to company for export of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia — Whether, in context of application for judicial review made in public interest, applicant has standing to raise violations of international treaties to which Canada is party, a fortiori where Parliament has incorporated treaties in question into Canadian law by way of legislation — Whether discretion to authorize export of arms provided for in section 7 of Export and Import Permits Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. E-19, is limited in any way by obligations under international treaties ratified by Canada and by Guidelines established by government to ensure their implementation — If so, in what way — Criteria Minister of Foreign Affairs must consider in assessing risk of use of arms against civilian populations and level of proof required in order to conclude that such risk exists.
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The respondent, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, granted export permits for light armoured vehicles (LAVs) to the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC). The CCC was actually serving as a link between General Dynamics Land Systems Canada (GDLS-C), a company that produces LAVs, and the United States, which had arms agreements with Saudi Arabia. In 2014, Saudi Arabia secured the agreement of the United States to deal directly with the CCC, which is why it was necessary to obtain export permits. This is provided for in the Export and Import Permits Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. E-19 (EIPA). The Federal Court dismissed an application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to grant the export permits, applying the standard of reasonableness on the basis that the Minister had been exercising his discretion. It also stated that the applicant met the criteria for public interest standing in this regard. However, because the Minister’s decision did not directly affect the applicant, it was not open to him to raise issues of procedural fairness. The judge’s comments were therefore limited to the reasonableness of the Minister’s decision. The Federal Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the appeal.
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