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Next Steps for Antiterrorlaw.ca

Over the summer and into the Fall, Kent Roach and I focused on writing our book False Security: The Radicalization of Anti-terrorism, and then speaking about the ideas in it at various fora.  Like others, we await with interest the new government’s plans on next steps in Canadian anti-terror and national security law.  I wrote up a short piece on what we know now (comparatively little, but better than nothing).

The original purpose of this blog was to supplement my regular national security law blog and present work that Kent and I did through 2015 on Bill C-51.  I also discovered something called twitter, something I nominally joined years ago and did not understand.  But since 2014, I have done my best to push out things that catch my eye in my areas of research interest from @cforcese.

All of this is to say that we have not invested much time in beautifying this platform or giving it flash and dazzle because it was always intended as a temporary feature.

But the issue of C-51 and its aftermath has not gone away, and so we have decided to keep this blog live into 2016.  I will continue blogging on national security law writ large on my regular blog, but we will also post on anti-terror law developments on this site.

First up, as the teaching term ends and we have some time: we have decided to prepare a “best practices” annotated draft bill for enhanced accountability in national security law, taking a stab at crafting a meaningful parliamentary review committee and also enhanced expert review by our existing review body.  As we argue in False Security, neither should proceed without the other.

We will post that document for comment and reaction here, when ready.

Bill C-51: First Thoughts on Proposed Amendments

Parliamentary committee hearings on bill C-51 begin next week.

We have created a table consolidating recommended amendments to bill C-51. We will continue to tinker with these through the week. On balance, we would be much more ambitious if we thought there any serious prospect that the parliamentary process would accommodate a full and open effort to reconcile clear and informed security preoccupations with clear and informed “second order” consequence considerations (e.g. in relation to rights and also in relation to the possibility of such things as more difficult criminal trials and RCMP/CSIS “confliction” problems). As is, we have proposed changes that we think are reasonable and square the circle between the government’s core objectives and at least mute concerns we and others have been raising.

As always, we are “crowdsourcing” and we welcome comments directed at our email accounts cforcese@uottawa.ca or kent.roach@utoronto.ca or twitter @cforcese.

Please forgive us is we can not respond to every message that comes out way.  We are two individuals operating without any administrative support, whose families wonder where they have disappeared to since bill C-51 was tabled in January.

We have posted our draft table of recommended amendments in Word and PDF format.