A lawyer seeking to have the containment measures quashed will have to wait before being heard by a court, since a judge has just turned down his request for technical reasons.
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“It doesn’t mean that [ses arguments] are not serious and unfounded, and this is a cause that must be heard expeditiously, “said judge Louis-Paul Cullen, this Friday at the St-Hyacinthe courthouse.
This week, lawyer Jean-Félix Racicot seized the Quebec Superior Court to overturn government decrees ordering the closure of schools and prohibiting, among other things, gatherings under penalty of a stiff fine.
He argued that the government had gone too far, and that it had overstepped its powers, thereby violating many of its fundamental freedoms, such as that of movement.
“In the event of real danger, the measures taken which infringe rights and freedoms must be those which least affect rights and freedoms”, he maintained.
In order to be heard quickly, Me Racicot had filed a habeas corpus request. This type of request is used to challenge detention considered arbitrary.
” [L’habeas corpus] do not allow to contest any infringement of all rights and freedoms, “said the magistrate.
However, in his request, the lawyer stated that several of his freedoms, such as that of working and that of worship, had been affected, he did not allege that his freedom of movement was at risk, noted the judge.
“His livelihood is affected, but not his freedom of movement,” noted the judge. Just like freedom of worship is not synonymous with freedom of movement. ”
And even worse, Me Racicot aims to overturn government decrees, said the magistrate. Thus, if he were successful, the entire population of Quebec would be affected and not just him.
This is why the judge concluded that even if Mr. Racicot had arguments to make, it was not through a habeas corpus request. Rather, it is a judicial review.
Me Racicot will have the weekend to adjust his request, since he will return before the judge on Monday to set a schedule for the rest of the proceedings.