Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2007-2008 Annual Report of the Security Intelligence Review Committee

The 2007-2008 Annual Report of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) was tabled in Parliament late last month.

The Report summarizes eight reviews completed by SIRC in 2007–2008, as well as six decisions rendered in complaints cases.

SIRC's role is to oversee and report on the activities of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS):
"It is our hope that the declassified review summaries and complaints decisions that are published in our annual reports can help to inform ongoing public debate about the role of CSIS in protecting Canada’s national security."

"Readers of this year’s annual report will note that in two of SIRC’s decisions in complaints during 2007–08, SIRC recommended that CSIS amend its policy of destroying operational notes and, instead, retain those notes. These recommendations echoed our earlier recommendations and were aimed at ensuring that complainants and SIRC, as a quasi-judicial body, would have full access to all information relevant to matters brought before the Committee for a determination."

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in Charkaoui vs. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2008 SCC 38, has brought clarity to this issue and that the court’s decision reflects SIRC’s oft-stated views on the matter. With the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms coming into play more often in matters of national security, and the advent of the newly created special advocate process, the guidance of the courts is both important and necessary if we, as a nation, are to find and preserve the right balance between national security and individual rights."

"SIRC strives to bring a fair and balanced perspective to our examinations of CSIS’s performance. Although the Committee recognizes the increasing complexity and challenges in CSIS’s work, we are always mindful of the high standards of accountability that are essential for the legitimacy of a security intelligence agency in a democratic society."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:33 pm


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