An appeal by the Department of Foreign Affairs to block an Ottawa law professor from getting a better look at reacted documents that detail the status of human rights in Afghanistan won't be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Department of Foreign Affairs had been trying to prevent University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran from gaining further access to the departmental reports.
In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision, announced Thursday, not to hear the government's appeal, it is expected that Attaran will gain further access to the documents.
Attaran first asked for annual reports from foreign affairs for the years 2001-06, but was given redacted copies of the reports from 2002-06. The department said no report existed for 2001.
After filing a complaint with the information commissioner that the redactions were excessive, Attaran received another set of copies with fewer redactions, but the professor wasn't satisfied and took his case to Federal Court, asking for a further review by a judge.
The Federal Court was declined a further review of the documents, with the exception of two sections of a report that had already been released and publicly reported on.
A Federal Appeals judge then overturned the decision, granting Attaran's request for a better look at all of the documents.
Attaran has been at the centre of several legal battles in the past with the federal government over the treatment of Afghan detainees.
The professor tried to obtain from the Department of National Defence, through the Access to Information and Privacy Act, a photo of every prisoner taken by Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.
When the department turned him down due to privacy concerns, he and his colleague, lawyer Paul Champ, asked for the faces of the detainees to be blacked out so only the hair of the prisoners could be made out.
Once again, the department turned down the request over privacy concerns.