(Ottawa) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s acceptance of a commission of inquiry findings that Canada has committed genocide against Indigenous peoples could have enormous legal impact if a tribunal were to address government accountability federal government in a possible crimes against humanity trial, says an expert.
Posted on June 5, 2021 at 11:42 a.m.
The Canadian Press
In the wake of the discovery of anonymous graves on the grounds of a former residential school for Indigenous children, Trudeau reiterated this week that he accepts the conclusion of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2019, reporting “genocide”.
According to a law professor at the University of Montreal, Bruno Gélinas-Faucher, if a court were to judge Canada in this case, it would have to assess whether these acts constitute genocide under international law and whether the country is responsible for them.
The Missing and Murdered Women Inquiry concluded in its 1,200-page report that Canada was deliberately and systematically violating racial, gender, human and Indigenous rights.
The Pr Gélinas-Faucher says the report attributes the acts of genocide to Ottawa because they were committed by the government, or by its advice and instructions.
The recognition by Mr. Trudeau of a governmental responsibility is something really important. A court could argue that the Canadian state has accepted responsibility under international law for the crime of genocide.
The discovery of the remains of 215 children in an anonymous burial place in Kamloops has raised questions whether Canada could face new legal consequences for widespread abuse and death at residential schools.