Advice on Implementing the Recommendations of Murray D. Segal's Review of CSIS Warrant Practice

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John Sims, Q.C., a former Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada, was retained to provide advice regarding implementation of the Segal Report and effectively managing and conducting warrant applications before the Federal Court.

Mr. Sims engaged in lengthy consultations within the Department of Justice, including the unit that carries out the warrant practice before the Federal Court. His report notes that he “believe[s] that they are committed to discharging these responsibilities in accordance with the highest standards of skill and knowledge”. He also interviewed senior officials in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Mr. Sims was given access to top secret documents to inform his understanding of the issues.

Mr. Sims’s report analyzes how the Segal Report can be most effectively implemented. He offers practical advice in numerous areas:

  • Drafting of the duty of candour policy
  • Addressing judicial concerns on warrant practice issues, by fixing accountability for addressing those concerns, and ensuring that the Court is adequately notified of the measures taken
  • Maintaining good relations with the Court
  • Participation in en banc hearings
  • Identification of issues of concern to the Court, and disclosure to the Court
  • Ensuring that warrants are sought where legally required
  • Ensuring rigorous review of draft warrant applications
  • Composition of the legal services unit within the Department of Justice
  • Improving the quality of training of individuals involved in the warrant process
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