Canada v Samejima (BCAC)

Canada v Samejima (BCAC)

In Re Immigration Act and Munetaka Samejima, [1932] 45 BCR 401
See In re Munetaka Samejima (1932) 3 WWR 201-211. Samejima was arrested on another warrant after his discharge, and filed another application for habeas corpus proceedings. This was dismissed by Justice Murphy. The case listed here appealed that dismissal. C.H. O’Halloran once again represented the appellant, with J.L. Clay standing for the respondent. Chief Justice Macdonald recommended dismissal, and Justice McPhillips concurred. Justices Martin and M.A. Macdonald favored allowing it. Ultimately, the appeal was dismissed. Chief Justice Macdonald asserted that the Court must abide by the provisions of the Immigration Act, R.S.C., 1927, ch. 93, which stated that “no Court, and no Judge or officer thereof” would have “jurisdiction to interfere” with an order for deportation, but for instances involving questions of citizenship or domicile, which were not an aspect of this case. (403) He stated that “how [the Board of Inquiry] proceeded [was] not a matter of interest at all”; they “may have been absolutely wrong in finding that [Samejima] ought to be deported... they may have gone right in the teeth or the evidence, but nevertheless the Parliament of Canada has said, on no ground whatever is it to be interfered with.” (404) The Board had the right, he insisted, to detain Samejima for deportation, and the Court only had the power to review Justice Fisher’s decision. Justice Martin insisted that In re Low Hong Hing (1926) 2 WWR 597, 37 BCR295, 46 CCC 65, established that the Court could in fact quash a deportation order, when the Board of Inquiry’s “exercise of its jurisdiction” was deemed “a violation of the ‘essential requirements of justice’” (203); this is precisely what he considered the Board’s re-arrest of Samejima to be. The Board had “illegally amended” their original order after it was deemed “unsound and insufficient to support a re-arrest,” and sentenced Samejima to deportation once again, without giving him an opportunity to meet the charge or the mounting of a new inquiry before the sentencing. (204) He suggested permitting the appeal and releasing Samejima, and Justice M.A. Macdonald concurred.



Canada v Samejima (BCAC)


Researcher: Monique F. Ulysses
Researcher: Lauren Chalaturnyk
Metadata author: Connell Parish
Metadata author: Gordon Lyall
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Source: British Columbia Court of Appeal. British Columbia Reports. 1932.


Readers of these historical materials will encounter derogatory references to Japanese Canadians and euphemisms used to obscure the intent and impacts of the internment and dispossession. While these are important realities of the history, the Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective urges users to carefully consider their own terminological choices in writing and speaking about this topic today as we confront past injustice. See our statement on terminology, and related sources here.