Special Advocates Program Evaluation

1. Introduction

This document constitutes the final report for the evaluation of the Special Advocates Program (also referred to as the Program or SAP). The Department of Justice Canada administers the Program, whose purpose is to implement the set of legislative requirements contained in Division 9 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

1.1. Context for the Evaluation

In 2008, the Department of Justice Canada established the SAP in response to the 2007 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Charkaoui case. Footnote 1 In its ruling, the Court concluded that the existing scheme applicable to security certificates allowed for the use of evidence “that is never disclosed to the named person without providing adequate measures to compensate for this non-disclosure and the constitutional problems it causes”. Footnote 2 The Program was first evaluated in 2010, as part of the evaluation of the Security Certificate Initiative led by Public Safety Canada. Footnote 3 This time, the evaluation of the SAP was led by the Department of Justice Canada. Although it is meant to be a stand-alone evaluation, it is also expected to contribute to the 2014-2015 Horizontal Evaluation of theIRPADivision 9 and theNational Security Inadmissibility Initiative led by Public Safety Canada.

1.2. Scope and Objectives of the Evaluation

This evaluation covers all activities undertaken through the SAP over the past five years (2010–11 to 2014–15). In accordance with the Policy on Evaluation, it addresses both the relevance and the performance of the Program. More specifically, the evaluation focuses on the following dimensions of the Program:

Appendix A includes the complete list of issues and questions covered by the evaluation.

1.3. Structure of the Report

This report contains five sections, including this introduction. Section 2 provides a description of the Program. Section 3 describes the methodology used to address the set of evaluation issues and questions. Section 4 summarizes the key findings that have emerged from the data collection process, while section 5 provides the overall evaluation conclusions and recommendations.

1.4. Acknowledgement

The contribution and collaboration of many individuals have made this evaluation possible. We wish to thank all of those who participated in data collection, provided information, and responded to inquiries.