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.


Department of National Defence Documents on 2002 Detainee Policies and Practices in Afghanistan

Originally posted March 2006 in beta version of this blog site.

Controversy arose in 2002 over the role of Canadian Forces in transferring prisoners captured during Afghan operations to U.S. forces. By that point, the United States had adopted policies on treatment of "unlawful combatants" potentially incompatible with the international law of armed conflict, a body of law binding on Canada. CNSLArchives Doc. 05-02 contains internal "media lines" and advice to the Minister of National Defence (MND) prepared during this period, dealing with the treatment of detainees by Canadian Forces in Afghanistan. CNSLArchives Doc. 05-03 contains documents describing the policies and procedures of Canadian Forces in relation to detainees. These documents were obtained via Access to Information requests covering (roughly) the period 2002-2004.


Ministerial Directions to the RCMP on National Security Investigations

Originally posted March 2006 in beta version of this blog site.

Pursuant to the Security Offences Act, the RCMP retains important national security functions. Unlike with regular policing -- where police independence is a vital concept -- in national security investigations, political oversight might be expected to be robust. In November 2003 (a month after Maher Arar returned to Canada), the then-Solicitor-General of Canada issued three ministerial directions on RCMP conduct of national security investigations. These directions are found in CNSLArchives Doc #05-04.


CIA Flights Transiting Through Canada

Originally posted March 2006 in beta version of this blog site.

In Fall 2005, press reports from the United States and Europe discussed the existence of secret detention facilities run by the CIA as part of the "war on terror". These facilities were reportedly in Eastern Europe. In Canada, media reporting focused on whether CIA detainee flights were transiting through Canada on the way to these facilities. CNSL Archives Doc #06-01 contains information on this question from Privy Council Office. Most of this material consists of media preparation material. Note, however, the final memo included in the package indicating that 20 planes "alleged in the media to have ties to the CIA have made 74 flights to Canada" since 9/11. That memo is undated, but is probably from late November 2005. CNSL Archives Doc #06-02 contains material obtained from Transport Canada. These documents include a roster of suspected CIA flights and, in the text of some intra-governmental e-mail messages, some plane registration information.