Secret Evidence: Disclosing Sensitive Information in Courts and Tribunals

National Security and Secret Evidence Video
  • 0 Substantive Hours
  • 1 Professionalism Hours

Session Overview


How do Canadian courts balance the need to conduct certain proceedings in private with the need for transparency and protections under an adversarial system? This webinar, Disclosing Sensitive Information in Courts and Tribunals – Section 38 CEA, is one in a series addressing the relationship between intelligence and evidence, the disclosure of sensitive information, the special advocate system, and the ever-evolving professional and ethical obligations for public law lawyers.

Secret evidence is increasingly used in a range of legal proceedings in Canada. While secrecy serves to protect human sources and methods of intelligence collection, it runs counter to traditional evidentiary rules. The introduction of intelligence in judicial proceedings creates considerable tension between the competing demands of disclosure and secrecy.

This webinar will be led by John Norris and will explore:

1. How and when is s. 38 of the Canada Evidence Act engaged for the determination of claims of national security privilege?
2. Practice and procedure before the Federal Court in s. 38 proceedings
3. The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Ahmad
4. The role of the Federal Court under s. 38

We recommend you also watch the recording of our 3-hour in-person workshop held in Toronto on Nov. 21st, facilitated by Lorne Waldman, Sukanya Pillay, John Norris, and The Hon. Justice Justice Yves de Montigny.

The in-person workshop will probe deeper into the issues explored in the webinars and offer participants the opportunity to discuss case studies with the lecturers.

Discounts available for groups of 5 or more. Please e-mail

*NOTE: If you are unable to attend or miss a live webinar, your registration provides you access to a recording of the webinar and all materials provided in that webinar.

CPD Accreditation

  CPD (hr) EPPM*
BC 1
NB 1
ON 1

CPD Accreditation

* EPPM = ethics, professionalism, practice management

Available session formats and materials
  • National Security and Secret Evidence
  • Video