International Law Case Brief - RE Immigration Act and Hanna.

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Re Immigration Act and Hanna

Canada, Supreme Court of British Columbia, 1957

21 Western Weekly Rep. 400

Facts: George Christian Hanna (23 years old) is a stateless person trying to find a country for refuge. In 1954 the United Nations addressed the problem of "stateless" persons to solve the problem when one seeks refuge within a country; however, Canada is not a signatory. Spending most of his life as a ship-bound passenger, Hanna does not have a homeland. Hanna applied for refuge from The "Gudveig" a Norwegian motor-ship in which he was treated as a "stowaway" and imprisoned for more than 16 months. During these 16 months aboard the ship, Hanna made at least three trips to Canada. Hanna found himself in Canada looking for immigration status after being released by the act of habeus corpus. Immigration was not given and an order of deportation was handed down.

The order was appealed on the basis that the order is defective, incomplete, and impossible to interpretation or enforcement and beyond the authority of the immigration officer.

Issue: Is the deportation order made by the immigration officer (acting as a special inquiry officer) legal and made within the means of his power?

Decision: The deportation order would force Hanna to be imprisoned aboard The "Gudveig" for an indeterminate amount of time. The circumstances that this deportation order created are not acceptable and the order was found to be illegal and Hanna was to be released from detention.

Reasoning: The deportation order included four directives. Directive No. 2 thru No. 4 was discredited by the court and No. 1 was the only directive considered and it went as follows: that Hanna be deported to the place whence he came to Canada. The court found that this meant many different...