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

Latest Book: Available from Irwin Law in April 2018.


Destroying the Caroline: The Frontier Raid That Reshaped the Right to War

I am pleased to announce that my latest book, Destroying the Caroline: The Frontier Raid That Reshaped the Right to War, is now in stock and available directly from the publisher, Irwin Law.

(I imagine it will also now make its way to Amazon and Chapters etc, in the fulness of time -- but don't believe them if they say "only available in X weeks", because *actually* available now from Irwin. So writes the frustrated author of many books that appear to be less available than they are).

I really enjoyed writing this book -- hundreds of hours in archives turning every stone to figure out what happened on the Niagara River on the night of December 29, 1837.  And then as much time tracing how the diplomatic settlement of the Caroline raid shaped international law on the use of force, and specifically the "inherent right of self-defence".  This isn't going away -- Google "John Bolton" and "Caroline" and "Korea" for the new US National Security Advisor's recent oped in the Wall Street Journal.

So it's an important time to revist this events of 180 years ago. I hope my enthusiasm for this fascinating back-to-the-future tale is captured in the writing and others find the story as rewarding as I did.


Bill C-59 and the Judicialization of Intelligence

With the teaching term winding down, I am preparing more formal papers, stitching together pieces memorialized as blogs on this site. My first effort is here. Abstract:

Canada's Bill C-59 responds to quandaries common to democracies in the early part of the 21st century. Among these challenges: How broad a remit should intelligence services have to build pools of data in which to fish for threats? And how best can a liberal democracy structure its oversight and review institutions to guard against improper conduct by security and intelligence services in this new data-rich environment? This paper examines how C-59 proposes re-shaping the activities of both the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) in fashions responding to these dilemmas. Specifically, it highlights C-59’s proposed changes to CSIS’s capacity to collect bulk data as part of its intelligence mandates, and also the new oversight system proposed for CSE’s foreign intelligence and cybersecurity regimes. The paper examines the objectives motivating both sets of changes, and suggests that in its architecture, C-59 tries to web together the challenges of intelligence in a technologically-sophisticated, information-rich environment, with privacy protections derived from a simpler age but updated to meet new demands.


A Podcast Called INTREPID Turns 30

Stephanie Carvin (NPSIA) and I have now reached the 30 episode point in our podcast series on Canadian national security law and policy. The direct URL is here. And listeners can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play and through most other podcast apps. To be honest, we started this as an experiment and it's become the equivalent (in terms of workload and logistics) of teaching another class. We seem to have around 2,300 daily subscribers and almost 7,000 monthly subscribers (or at least that's what our ISP estimates). And we're especially excited about past and present guests on the show. So we'll keep it up, sabbaticals notwithstanding. But if you think it's a useful addition to the national security studies space in Canada, feel free to let us know through iTunes review, Twitter or email.

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