‘Institutional and Systemic Negligence’, Federal Court on CSIS not disclosing Information

Snehal Upadhyay

Published on: September 1, 2021, at 09:25 IST

The Federal Court’s Judge blames “Institutional and systemic negligence” for the failure of Canada’s spy service in not declaring important information while filing applications for judicial warrants to conduct investigations.

Justice Henry Brown stated that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) had infringed the duty of candour that it owed to the Court during a certain warrant application in October 2018.

Justice Henry Brown observed that the CSIS has yet not declared the human source information upon which it was relied to get the warrants, he further says that this could potentially be an illegal act.

Brown expressed that “Both breaches occurred through a combination of institutional and systemic negligence, Nevertheless, I am unable to find any intention to mislead or deceive the Court. The Court does not find personal culpability on the part of either the lawyers or Service witnesses who appeared before it.”

This Judgement is said to be the latest of other judgements in recent years where the Court had rebuked CSIS for not disclosing relevant information while applying for warrants in any particular case.

Justice Brown further directed CSIS to keep the Court imparted of developments, including the updates pertaining to the external reviews.

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