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(Dec 02, 2007) On November 15, 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the appeals of two U.S. military deserters who had sought refugee status in Canada. (Brandon David Hughey v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, No. 3211 & Jeremy Hinzman v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, No. 32112, (last visited Dec. 6, 2007). The applications were dismissed without any statement of reasons.

The applicants had originally argued before the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board that they should be granted asylum because of their moral objections to the war in Iraq and because they would face persecution if they were returned to the United States. In 2005, the Immigration and Refugee Board found that the deserters would receive a fair trial in the United States and that they would not face cruel and unusual punishment. The Federal Court of Canada upheld this decision before it was appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court's refusal to hear the appeals of the two deserters is consistent with past Canadian practices. While Canada has received as eligible refugees persons who came to the country to avoid a draft, it has traditionally declined to receive deserters from an allied armed force. It is estimated that up to 200 former U.S. soldiers are in Canada and that approximately 20 have applied for refugee status. (Nick Fiske, Canadian Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Asylum Appeals of U.S. Army Deserters, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST, Nov. 15, 2007, available at

Author: Stephen Clarke More by this author
Topic: Immigration and nationality More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Canada More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 12/02/2007