National Security Law is a comprehensive handbook that focuses on the law and legal instruments governing the Canadian state’s response to events that jeopardize its "national security." Specifically, these are events or plausible threats with the potential to inflict massive injury on life and property in Canada—terrorism, natural disasters and epidemic disease, and foreign attacks and domestic insurrections.
National security law is governed by a vast array of federal and provincial statutes. But this text, part of Irwin Law’s Essentials of Canadian Law series, also draws on core international, constitutional, and common law doctrines and the comparative legal experience of other states. In addition to describing in detail the applicable legal principles, the book flags key dilemmas and challenges that run through national security law. It also critically assesses certain issues of contemporary relevance, such as the use of armed force, torture, government secrecy, surveillance, intelligence information sharing, and detention without trial.
National Security Law is divided into three main parts along the following themes:
- national security structure (that is, the special institutional infrastructure—both national and international—set up to deal with national security issues);
- national security objectives (that is, the law related to several specific threats that the state seeks to curb or forestall, including terrorism, weapons proliferation, political emergencies and natural disasters); and
- national security techniques (that is, the law governing such practices as government secrecy, surveillance, intelligence sharing, detention, and interrogation).
The book is up to date through August 2007, but also includes updates on key developments arising during the production process through to the end of October 2007. In addition, author Craig Forcese has created an on-line blog describing and assessing ongoing developments in the area of national security law: www.nationalsecuritylaw.ca.
Summary Table of Contents
PART ONE: SETTING THE STAGE
CHAPTER 1: Defining National Security
CHAPTER 2: Dilemmas in National Security
PART TWO: NATIONAL SECURITY STRUCTURE
CHAPTER 3: The Institutional Framework for National Security Law
CHAPTER 4: The Institutional Framework in Times of Emergency
PART THREE: KEY NATIONAL SECURITY OBJECTIVES
CHAPTER 5: Protecting against International Insecurity and Armed Attack
CHAPTER 6: Countering Terrorism at the International Level
CHAPTER 7: Countering Terrorism at the National Level
CHAPTER 8: Limiting Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
CHAPTER 9: Protecting Public Safety and Health
PART FOUR: NATIONAL SECURITY TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
CHAPTER 10: Secrecy
CHAPTER 11: Surveillance
CHAPTER 12: Intelligence Sharing
CHAPTER 13: Interception and Interdiction
CHAPTER 14: Detention
CHAPTER 15: Interrogations
"This book fills a notable vacuum in Canadian legal writing.... [I]t should ... be at the elbow of every Canadian security intelligence officer, law enforcement official, government policy-maker, elected politician, lawyer, or judge who must deal with national security issues in their professional life."
-- Ronald G. Atkey, P.C., Q.C (first chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee 1984–89 and Amicus Curiae to the Arar Commission 2004–2007)