Robert Latimer

Robert Latimer

Convicted child murderer Robert Latimer has won a federal court appeal of restrictions on travel outside of Canada placed on him by the National Parole Board.

Federal Court Judge Michael Manson said in a ruling released Sept. 16 that the appeal board of the National Parole Board acted “unreasonably” when it denied Latimer’s request to travel outside Canada without obtaining pre-approval on a case by case basis.

“The Board and Appeal Board did not exercise their broad discretion in a reasonable, transparent or intelligible manner,” Manson wrote in his decision. “The Board and Appeal Board cannot exercise discretion based on an arbitrary or punitive basis, inconsistent with this overarching purpose.”

Latimer, now 61, was convicted in 2001 of second-degree murder in the 1993 death of his 12-year-old daughter Tracy, who had cerebral palsy.

He was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 10 years, but was released on day parole after serving seven years of his prison term and granted full parole with conditions on Dec. 8, 2010.

His parole conditions stipulated that he must continue receiving psychological counseling, that he is “not to have responsibility for, or make decisions for, any individuals who have a significant disability,” and that he is barred from traveling out of the country.

Last July Latimer requested that all three conditions of his parole be removed. The Parole Board of Canada did withdraw the psychological counseling condition, but ruled against the two other requests.

Latimer appealed the travel restriction, but the Parole Board again said he must obtain pre-approval for international travel.

In December 2013 Latimer requested that a federal judge review the Parole Board’s decision.

The Office of the Attorney General issued a memorandum addressing Latimer’s request, which maintained that the Parole Board’s decision was “reasonable” and “within the range of possible outcomes … in keeping with the nature and gravity of the offence and the principles underlying the Applicant’s (Latimer’s) sentence.”

However, in his ruling Judge Manson ordered the National Parole Board’s appeal board to review its previous decision in accordance with the reasons he had given for removing Latimer’s travel restrictions.

 This article originally appeared at on Sept. 17 and is used with permission.