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Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-23)

Act current to 2022-09-11 and last amended on 2019-07-13. Previous Versions

PART ICanadian Security Intelligence Service (continued)

Duties and Functions of Service (continued)

Marginal note:Exemption — employees

  •  (1) No employee is guilty of an offence by reason only that the employee, in the course of their duties and functions and for the sole purpose of establishing or maintaining a covert identity, makes a false statement with respect to a covert identity or makes, procures to be made, requests, possesses, uses or transfers a false document or acts on or authenticates a false document as if it were genuine.

  • Marginal note:Exemption — other persons

    (2) No person is guilty of an offence by reason only that the person, under the direction of an employee and for the sole purpose of establishing or maintaining a covert identity, makes a false statement with respect to a covert identity or makes, procures to be made, requests, possesses, uses or transfers a false document or acts on or authenticates a false document as if it were genuine.

  • Marginal note:Exemption — section 368.1 of Criminal Code

    (3) No employee is guilty of an offence under section 368.1 of the Criminal Code if the acts alleged to constitute the offence were committed by the employee in the course of their duties and functions and for the sole purpose of establishing or maintaining a covert identity.

  • Marginal note:Definition of false document

    (4) In subsections (1) and (2), false document has the same meaning as in section 321 of the Criminal Code.

Marginal note:Authorized disclosure of information

  •  (1) Information obtained in the performance of the duties and functions of the Service under this Act shall not be disclosed by the Service except in accordance with this section.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) The Service may disclose information referred to in subsection (1) for the purposes of the performance of its duties and functions under this Act or the administration or enforcement of this Act or as required by any other law and may also disclose such information,

    • (a) where the information may be used in the investigation or prosecution of an alleged contravention of any law of Canada or a province, to a peace officer having jurisdiction to investigate the alleged contravention and to the Attorney General of Canada and the Attorney General of the province in which proceedings in respect of the alleged contravention may be taken;

    • (b) where the information relates to the conduct of the international affairs of Canada, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs or a person designated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the purpose;

    • (c) where the information is relevant to the defence of Canada, to the Minister of National Defence or a person designated by the Minister of National Defence for the purpose; or

    • (d) where, in the opinion of the Minister, disclosure of the information to any minister of the Crown or person in the federal public administration is essential in the public interest and that interest clearly outweighs any invasion of privacy that could result from the disclosure, to that minister or person.

  • Marginal note:Report to Review Agency

    (3) The Director shall, as soon as practicable after a disclosure referred to in paragraph (2)(d) is made, submit a report to the Review Agency with respect to the disclosure.

Marginal note:Protection of employees

  •  (1) The Director and employees have, in performing the duties and functions of the Service under this Act, the same protection under the law as peace officers have in performing their duties and functions as peace officers.

  • Marginal note:Unlawful conduct

    (2) If the Director is of the opinion that an employee may, on a particular occasion, have acted unlawfully in the purported performance of the duties and functions of the Service under this Act, the Director shall cause to be submitted a report in respect thereof to the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Report and comments to Attorney General of Canada

    (3) The Minister shall cause to be given to the Attorney General of Canada a copy of any report that he receives pursuant to subsection (2), together with any comment that he considers appropriate in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Copies to Review Agency

    (4) A copy of anything given to the Attorney General of Canada pursuant to subsection (3) shall be given forthwith to the Review Agency.

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) The following definitions apply in this section.

    designated employee

    designated employee means an employee who is designated under subsection (6) or (8). (employé désigné)

    designated senior employee

    designated senior employee means an employee who is designated under subsection (7). (employé supérieur désigné)

  • Marginal note:Principle — justification

    (2) It is in the public interest to ensure that employees effectively carry out the Service’s information and intelligence collection duties and functions, including by engaging in covert activities, in accordance with the rule of law and, to that end, to expressly recognize in law a limited justification for designated employees acting in good faith and persons acting under their direction to commit acts or omissions that would otherwise constitute offences.

  • Marginal note:Classes of acts or omissions

    (3) At least once every year, the Minister shall, by order, determine the classes of acts or omissions that would otherwise constitute offences and that designated employees may be justified in committing or directing another person to commit if the Minister concludes that the commission of those acts or omissions is reasonable, having regard to

    • (a) the Service’s information and intelligence collection duties and functions; and

    • (b) any threats to the security of Canada that may be the object of information and intelligence collection activities or any objectives to be achieved by such activities.

  • Marginal note:Statutory Instruments Act

    (4) An order made under subsection (3) is not a statutory instrument within the meaning of the Statutory Instruments Act.

  • Marginal note:Notification of Commissioner

    (5) The Minister shall notify the Commissioner of the Minister’s determination under subsection (3) for the purposes of the Commissioner’s review and approval under the Intelligence Commissioner Act.

  • Marginal note:Designation of employees

    (6) The Minister may personally, on the recommendation of the Director and for a period of not more than one year, designate, for the purpose of this section, employees who perform information and intelligence collection activities.

  • Marginal note:Designation of senior employees

    (7) The Minister may personally, on the recommendation of the Director, designate, for the purpose of this section, senior employees who are responsible for information and intelligence collection activities.

  • Marginal note:Emergency designation

    (8) The Director or a designated senior employee may, for a period of not more than 48 hours, designate, for the purpose of this section, an employee who performs information and intelligence collection activities if the Director or the designated senior employee is of the opinion that

    • (a) by reason of exigent circumstances, it is not feasible for the Minister to designate the employee under subsection (6); and

    • (b) the employee would be justified in committing an act or omission that would otherwise constitute an offence.

  • Marginal note:Notification of Minister

    (9) The Director or the designated senior employee, as the case may be, shall notify the Minister of the designation as soon as the circumstances permit.

  • Marginal note:Conditions

    (10) A designation under subsection (6) or (8) may be made subject to conditions, including conditions limiting

    • (a) its duration;

    • (b) the nature of the information and intelligence collection activities in the context of which a designated employee may be justified in committing, or directing another person to commit, an act or omission that would otherwise constitute an offence; and

    • (c) the act or omission that would otherwise constitute an offence and that a designated employee may be justified in committing or directing another person to commit.

  • Marginal note:Justification for acts or omissions

    (11) Subject to subsection (15), a designated employee is justified in committing an act or omission that would otherwise constitute an offence if

    • (a) the designated employee

      • (i) is engaged, in good faith, in an information and intelligence collection activity in relation to a threat to the security of Canada, and

      • (ii) believes on reasonable grounds that the commission of the act or omission, as compared to the threat, is reasonable and proportional in the circumstances, having regard to such matters as the nature of the threat, the nature of the act or omission and the reasonable availability of other means for performing the information and intelligence collection activity; or

    • (b) the designated employee

      • (i) is engaged, in good faith, in an information and intelligence collection activity under section 16, and

      • (ii) believes on reasonable grounds that the commission of the act or omission is reasonable and proportional in the circumstances, having regard to such matters as the nature of the act or omission, the nature of the objective to be achieved and the reasonable availability of other means to achieve the objective.

  • Marginal note:Authorization

    (12) The Director or a designated senior employee may, in writing, authorize designated employees, for a period of not more than one year, to direct the commission of acts or omissions that would otherwise constitute offences if the Director or the designated senior employee believes on reasonable grounds

    • (a) in the case of an activity described in subparagraph (11)(a)(i), that the commission of the acts or omissions, as compared to the threat to the security of Canada to which the activity relates, is reasonable and proportional in the circumstances, having regard to such matters as the nature of the threat, the nature of the acts or omissions and the reasonable availability of other means for performing the activity; or

    • (b) in the case of an activity described in subparagraph (11)(b)(i), that the commission of the acts or omissions is reasonable and proportional in the circumstances, having regard to such matters as the nature of the acts or omissions, the nature of the objective to be achieved and the reasonable availability of other means to achieve the objective.

  • Marginal note:Contents

    (13) The authorization shall specify

    • (a) the acts or omissions that would otherwise constitute offences;

    • (b) the designated employees who are authorized to direct the commission of those acts or omissions; and

    • (c) the persons who may be directed to commit those acts or omissions.

  • Marginal note:Amendment or cancellation

    (14) The authorization may be amended or cancelled by the Director or a designated senior employee.

  • Marginal note:Justification for directing

    (15) A designated employee is only justified in directing the commission of an act or omission that would otherwise constitute an offence if the conditions in paragraph (11)(a) or (b) are met and the designated employee

    • (a) is personally authorized to direct the commission of the act or omission under subsection (12); or

    • (b) believes on reasonable grounds that grounds for obtaining an authorization under that subsection exist but it is not feasible in the circumstances to obtain the authorization and that the act or omission is necessary to

      • (i) preserve the life or safety of any individual,

      • (ii) prevent the compromise of the identity of an employee acting covertly, of a human source or of a person acting covertly under the direction of an employee, or

      • (iii) prevent the imminent loss or destruction of information or intelligence.

  • Marginal note:Person acting under direction of designated employee

    (16) A person, other than an employee, is justified in committing an act or omission that would otherwise constitute an offence if

    • (a) they are directed by a designated employee to commit the act or omission; and

    • (b) they believe on reasonable grounds that the person who directs them to commit the act or omission has the authority to give that direction.

  • Marginal note:Classes of acts or omissions

    (17) A designated employee is only justified in committing, or directing another person to commit, an act or omission that would otherwise constitute an offence if the act or omission falls within a class of acts or omissions the determination of which is approved by the Commissioner under the Intelligence Commissioner Act.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (18) Nothing in this section justifies

    • (a) causing, intentionally or by criminal negligence, death or bodily harm to an individual;

    • (b) wilfully attempting in any manner to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice;

    • (c) violating the sexual integrity of an individual;

    • (d) subjecting an individual to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, within the meaning of the Convention Against Torture;

    • (e) detaining an individual; or

    • (f) causing the loss of, or any serious damage to, any property if doing so would endanger the safety of an individual.

  • Marginal note:Ministerial direction

    (19) Nothing in this section justifies the commission of an act or omission specified in a direction issued by the Minister for the purpose of this section, under subsection 6(2).

  • Marginal note:Protection, defences and immunities unaffected

    (20) Nothing in this section affects the protection, defences and immunities of employees and other persons recognized under the law of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Requirement to obtain warrant

    (21) Nothing in this section relieves the Director or an employee from the requirement to obtain a warrant in accordance with section 21.

  • Marginal note:Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

    (22) Nothing in this section justifies the commission of an act or omission that would infringe a right or freedom guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

  • Marginal note:Report by designated employee

    (23) A designated employee who commits an act or omission in accordance with subsection (11) or who directs the commission of an act or omission in accordance with subsection (15) shall, as soon as the circumstances permit after doing so, submit a written report to the Director or a designated senior employee describing the act or omission.

  • Marginal note:Annual report

    (24) The Minister shall, every year, publish or otherwise make available to the public a report in respect of the previous year that includes

    • (a) the number of designations that were made under subsection (8);

    • (b) the number of authorizations that were given under subsection (12);

    • (c) the number of times that designated employees directed the commission of acts or omissions in accordance with paragraph (15)(b);

    • (d) the nature of the threats to the security of Canada that were the object of the information and intelligence collection activities in the context of which the designations referred to in paragraph (a) were made, the authorizations referred to in paragraph (b) were given or the acts or omissions referred to in paragraph (c) were directed to be committed; and

    • (e) the nature of the acts or omissions that were committed under the designations referred to in paragraph (a) or that were directed to be committed under the authorizations referred to in paragraph (b) or in accordance with paragraph (15)(b).

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (25) The report is not to contain any information the disclosure of which would

    • (a) compromise or hinder an ongoing information and intelligence collection activity;

    • (b) compromise the identity of an employee acting covertly, of a human source or of a person acting covertly under the direction of an employee;

    • (c) endanger the life or safety of any individual;

    • (d) prejudice a legal proceeding; or

    • (e) be contrary to the public interest.

  • Marginal note:Notification of Review Agency

    (26) The Service shall notify the Review Agency as soon as the circumstances permit after

    • (a) a designation is made under subsection (8);

    • (b) an authorization is given under subsection (12); or

    • (c) a written report is submitted under subsection (23).

  • Marginal note:Statutory Instruments Act

    (27) For greater certainty, designations, authorizations and directions referred to in this section are not statutory instruments within the meaning of the Statutory Instruments Act.

 
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