Harb v. Canada

Harb v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2003 FCA 39 (CanLII)


• This case deals with the exclusion clause in 1F(a) of the Refugee Convention:

The provisions of this Convention shall not apply to any person with respect to whom there are serious reasons for considering that: He has committed a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, as defined in the international instruments drawn up to make provision in respect of such crimes

• Claimant was from Lebanon – excluded by RPD on basis of membership in Amal movement and complicity in activities of South Lebanon Army

• Even though alleged crimes took place before coming into effect of Rome Statute, Article 1F(a) is dynamic and includes all international criminal instruments which came into effect after the signing of the Refugee Convention (para 8)

• No real question that Amal and the SLA were terrorist organizations that had committed international crimes

• Moreover, claimant’s argument that he did not meet the test for complicity failed; his testimony to this effect was not credible

• Claimant was excluded on the basis of 1F(a)

• The case discusses the Ramirez test for complicity, meaning “knowing and personal participation”

o This test is modified by the voluntary, significant and knowing contribution test set forth in Ezokola

• In Ezokola, which is the latest and most important decision re: membership or complicity in war crimes/crimes against humanity under 1F(a), there is only one reference to Harb, at paragraph 42:

o We must therefore consider international criminal law to determine whether an individual should be excluded from refugee protection for complicity in international crimes: Harb v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2003 FCA 39 (CanLII), 302 N.R. 178, at para. 8.