Posts in Law
Chain Reaction: Bill C-59’s Complicated Coming Into Force Rules

Bill C-59, the National Security Act 2017, is now back before the Commons to consider the (relatively minor) amendments proposed by the Senate. Baring a catastrophe, it should make it past this final Commons-Senate ping-pong and become law. “Becoming law” means “coming into force”. There are rules about coming into force, and I review how they apply to C-59 because: it’s complicated.

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National Security Transparency: The Problem of Secret Law

Last week, Leah West addressed delegates at the 6th Open Government Partnership Global Summit hosted by Canada in Ottawa. She was asked to participate on a panel hosted by Public Safety Canada entitled: National Security Transparency: Expert Perspectives along with Wesley Wark, Christopher Parsons and Veronica Kitchen. The following is a copy of Leah’s remarks on the subject of “secret law.”

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What’s In Your Apple Wallet? Border Searches of Electronic Devices

CBC reported on 5 May 2019 that the Canada Border Services Agency had seized the phone and computer of a Canadian lawyer returning to Canada, after he refused to provide access passwords (urging the devices contained sensitive solicitor-client materials). This is the latest in a series of cases in which the search and seizure powers of the CBSA at the border have provoked controversy. In this post, we unpack what we see to be the most important legal questions.

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Attorney General Independence: The Forgotten Basford Standard and its National Security Nexus

In February, the political class in Canada was preoccupied by “L’Affaire SNC-Lavalin” – the controversy over whether a prominent Québec company should be prosecuted for alleged overseas bribery, or instead dealt with under a Criminal Code remediation agreement. Lost in this discussion was the way Attorney General Ron Basford described the standards of attorney general independence in a 1978-1979 national security matter. This post revisits this forgotten case.

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