Below is the latest update from Counsel Leahy
As some of you have noted, Justice Rennie has directed counsel involved in challenging the the closure of the FSW files to address the issue of whether the Charter (Bill of Rights) applies to those not residing in Canada. Written arguments are due February 22nd and any reply, March 1st. Thus, the decision from the January 14th-16th hearing will not come until mid-March at the earliest. (See http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/IndexingQueries/infp_RE_info_e.php?court_no=IMM-5635-12)
While you undoubtedly are disappointed at the delay, the news is actually positive because it implies that Justice Rennie is prepared to strike down s. 87.4 if he can be persuaded that Charter rights protect anyone dealing with the Government of Canada (in any of its guises) irrespective of where they reside. I am far from being an expert in Canadian constitutional law. However, I remember being taught that, unlike US constitutional rights (which apply only to those within the borders of the US), the Canadian Charter of Rights applies to Canadian officials wherever they are acting in their official capacity. (Besides, some of the FSW applicants are already residing in Canada, in which case, they enjoy Charter rights.) So, I am somewhat puzzled that, what I thought was clear, Justice Rennie wants argued before him because I am confident that he is far better versed in Charter law than I am.
Is he doing so because he questions the extend of the Charter's reach or because he wants to write a decision addressing this potential challenge to his decision and wants to be current on the issue? I do not know. However, whichever, if he were prepared to dismiss the case, he would not be asking for further arguments. He would just rule in CIC's faour. So, while the delay is disappointing, Justice Rennie's having revealed his inclination to rule against the Minister in this case is good news for everyone except the Minister and his allies.