Balancing the Rights of Migrants and International Criminal Law: The Case of Alleged Rwandan War Criminals Under Canada’s Immigration Laws

  • Philippe LarochelleandSébastien Chartrand
Keywords: Immigration Law, International criminal law, War criminals, Rwanda genocide


For Canadian laws to hold immigrants accountable for international crimes is a laudable policy. However, even though these laws provide for prosecution or extradition of suspected criminal, the Canadian approach emphasizes immigration remedies. In this regard, the Rwandan genocide has provided the Canadian authorities with a delicate task and unique challenges. This article explores the merits of the Canadian approach and its consequences through a discussion of three main issues: its reliance on immigration over extradition proceedings, thereby circumventing important safeguards; its lack of consistency in the application of international criminal law provisions between criminal and immigration matters; and its reliance on the impermissible concept of “guilt by association” in determining complicity for international crimes.


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