By Craig Forcese

Full Professor
Faculty of Law
(Common Law Section)
University of Ottawa

Twitter: @cforcese

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Please also see for Bill C-51-related analyses by Craig Forcese and Kent Roach.


Background Resources: Bill C-22 (National Security & Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians)

As I write this, bill C-22 is being debated in the House of Commons, on second reading. Once that debate concludes, the bill will be referred to the relevant House of Commons committee -- presumptively, the Standing Committee on National Security and Public Safety (SECU). For those interested in the issue of the parliamentary role in national security "oversight" (as it is usually called -- although for technical reasons it is better described as "review" or "scrutiny"), I have assembled assorted resources here for ease of reference:

The Evolution of the Idea

Our analysis

And of course, to understand how parliamentary scrutiny fits into the "big picture" (of bill C-51, etc), you really should read that big, but very affordable book, written with verve: Forcese & Roach, False Security: The Radicalization of Canadian Anti-terrorism (Irwin Law, 2015).

Video primers (covering off some of the same terrain as our analyses)


10 Minute (ok, 15) Primer: Canadian Secrecy Law and National Security

This primer is a brief overview of key laws pertaining to secrecy and national security in Canada.


Primer: Canadian Secrecy Law and National Security from Craig Forcese on Vimeo.


Canada's Security & Intelligence Community after 9/11: Key Challenges and Conundrums

I have posted my latest paper here. It (briefly) canvasses a range of outstanding issues that have arisen in the organization of Canadian security and intelligence since 9/11. The abstract reads as follows:

The Canadian security & intelligence community’s historical development and scope reflect the country’s relatively favourable geopolitical circumstances. Since 9/11, anti-terrorism has been the country’s clear security priority, possibly to the point of ignoring other critical issues. Because responses to terrorism involve both criminal law and intelligence-led preemptive activities, Canada’s chief police and intelligence agencies now overlap in their investigations to a considerable degree, creating conundrums for both operations and accountability. This article traces the impact of these developments on the Canadian management of national security, and the institutional design of Canada’s S&I community and accountability mechanisms. It concludes with a series of questions Canadian policy makers must ponder in deciding how best to address Canada’s operational and accountability national security challenges.