About this Project

This blog comments on Canadian (and occasionally comparative) national security law to update my National Security Law textbook and now also my 2015 book, False Security: The Radicalization of Anti-terrorism, co-authored with Kent Roach.

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

For narrated lectures on various topics in national security law, please visit my 2017 "national security nutshell" series, available through iTunes.


For a continuing conversation on Canadian national security law and policy, please join Stephanie Carvin and me at A Podcast Called INTREPID.


Please also visit my archive of "secret law" in the security area.

By Craig Forcese

Full Professor
Faculty of Law

Email: cforcese[at]uottawa.ca

Twitter: @cforcese


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Most Recent Blog Postings

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.