BRIDGING THE NATIONAL SECURITY ACCOUNTABILITY GAP: A Three-Part System to Modernize Canada’s Inadequate Review of National Security

As a follow up on our book (and particularly ch 12 and our recommendations in ch 14), Kent and I are releasing for comment our draft working paper on reformed national security review (sometimes called “oversight”).  In the paper, we urge that Canada’s reformed national security accountability review structure be built on the model of a three-legged stool: first, a properly resourced and empowered committee of parliamentarians with robust access to secret information, charged primarily with strategic issues, including an emphasis on “efficacy” review; second, a consolidated and enhanced expert review body – a “super SIRC” – with all-of-government jurisdiction, capable of raising efficacy issues but charged primarily with “propriety” review; third, an independent monitor of national security law, built on the UK and Australian model, with robust access to secret information and charged with expert analysis of Canada’s proposed or actual anti‑terrorism and national security legislation.

The paper may be downloaded from the SSRN website (at this time, the “under review” stamp just means it is being integrated into the SSRN permanent collection).  Please share widely as we wish to attract a large audience of interested citizens, experts and stakeholders.  As noted at the paper’s beginning, we intend to publish a final version (with TSAS), and welcome comments aimed at strengthening the paper.