Convicted war criminal Omar Khadr has fired his two longtime lawyers just months before his return to Canada.

CBC News has learned Toronto-based lawyers John Norris and Brydie Bethell have been hired to replace the two Edmonton-based attorneys, Dennis Edney and Nate Whitling, who represented Khadr for years.

"Dennis and Nate have been tremendous advocates for Omar," Bethell said. "We hope to be able to further the progress that they have made."

Khadr pleaded guilty and was convicted a year ago at a U.S. military trial in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for war crimes he committed as a 15-year-old in Afghanistan.

The Supreme Court of Canada declared earlier last year that the Canadian government had violated Khadr's rights by acting in complicity with the U.S. in his maltreatment at the American naval base in Guantanamo. Edney and Whitling were instrumental in that legal battle.

Edney would not comment Thursday except to say, "I wish him all the best and I have no further comment."

Khadr is slated to return to Canada in the fall to serve out the remaining seven years of his prison sentence.