16 May 2016


3:30 PM – 6:30 PM EST


Borden Ladner Gervais | 100 Queen Street, Suite 1300, Ottawa


John Norris, Simcoe Chambers (Co-Chair)

François Dadour, Poupart, Dadour & Associés (Co-Chair)




The Seminar will begin with 45-60 minutes of presentation, including an overview of key issues from the Co-Chairs. Following a brief recess, discussion is then facilitated for 1.5 hours allowing all participants to exchange ideas, test theories and examine key questions.

The seminar will explore the following topics and questions:

  1. Bill C-51 now authorizes CSIS to take “measures” that are “reasonable and proportional in the circumstances” to “reduce” a “threat to the security of Canada.” What are the substantive and procedural limitations to a so-called ‘disruption warrant’? How can this exceptional new power be reconciled with the Charter?
  2. Amendments to the Criminal Code now authorize the Crown to apply to a court to impose a recognizance on an individual suspected of planning terrorist activity. This anticipatory power may subject an individual to a court order without the usual proof of a planned or committed criminal offence. What is the scope of these new powers and how can parties ensure that affected individuals’ rights are respected?
  3. When, in the context of a criminal charge, the Crown claims privilege over information on the grounds of national security, the Canada Evidence Act requires that the claim be adjudicated by a judge who is not presiding over the criminal proceedings. This bifurcated process, whereby privileged information may be kept secret from both the defence and even the trial judge, has been upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Ahmad, 2011 SCC 6. How has the litigation of privilege claims evolved since Ahmad? How can counsel deal with the challenges of litigating privilege claims in a bifurcated process?
  4. Section 18.1 of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service Act enacts a new class privilege that keeps secret the identity of CSIS human sources.  What are the procedural and substantive contours of this privilege?  How could this privilege affect an individual’s Charter right to full answer and defence?  How could it affect an individual’s ability to claim redress for torture or other rights violations in a civil proceeding?