New World of National Security and Intelligence Review

Course Dates for 2022

This course will be offered twice in 2022. 

June 6-10 & 13-17 (Fully online)


October 17-21 & 24-28 (Fully online)

This course will offer an intensive survey of the origins and history of security and intelligence review in Canada, the current state of review practice, and the challenges ahead. Course participants will be made familiar with the legislative basis for the new review bodies, their political context, and will study current review reporting and future challenges.

The Program

The objective of the course is to fully familiarize participants and deepen their understanding about the fundamental changes impacting national security and intelligence review in Canada. The changes underway to the Canadian system will be the most important since the passage of the CSIS Act in 1984 and will be transformative.

The course will feature a mix of instructor lectures, instructor-led discussions, participant interaction, talks by guest experts, and reference to review agency reports and the literature on security and Intelligence review. Practical exercises and critical input by course participants will be a central element of the course.

The course will be delivered entirely online in modules, with asynchronous video presentations by the course instructor, spread over a two-week period to allow for maximum schedule flexibility for participants. Each topic module will feature a video presentation with associated readings. Students should budget on average 1 to 1.5 hours per day for the course over the two-week period. There will be moderated online group conversations at fixed times; students will receive the agenda in advance of the course. Student engagement will occur through scheduled Q and A chat functions and moderated online group conversations.

Registered students will be provided in advance with a detailed course agenda. Students will also be provided with key documentary material to support the video presentations. Students who complete the course will be awarded a certificate by the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

The language of instruction will be English. The Chatham House rule will be applied to chat and online group discussions. The presentations will be at the unclassified level using only material in the public domain.

Who Should Attend

  • The course is designed for :
  • government officials seeking to better understand the new review system
  • officials whose duties include review, either within the review bodies or the security and intelligence community
  • Parliamentary staff
  • Interested individuals, including from the NGO community, law firms, consultancy agencies and the media, who wish to be able to understand the nature of reporting on security and intelligence by the new review bodies.
  • Students who do not meet these criteria will be considered for admission on a case by case basis. The course will be delivered under the Chatham House rule.

Covered in the Course:

The course will be organized around a series of online, short modules, each involving a 30-minute video presentation. Topics covered in these modules will include:

  • The objectives of national security and intelligence review
  • The principles of national security and intelligence review
  • The history of review in Canada
  • Major legislative changes to review, especially Bill C-59, the national security framework legislation
  • The work of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians
  • The role of the Federal Court
  • The role of the Privacy Commissioner
  • The challenges ahead
  • Public expectations
  • The elements of review success and failure
  • The new Canadian review system in comparative perspective—how does it compare with the systems of our allies?


Wesley Wark is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa and a professor emeritus of the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. He is one of Canada’s leading academic experts on national security and intelligence. He is a founding member of the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies and served for two terms as President. He served on the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on National Security between 2005 and 2009 and has testified before Parliamentary committees on national security and intelligence issues on numerous occasions.

His most recent publication is an edited volume, Secret Intelligence: A Reader (2nd edition 2019). He recently published a collection of essays for the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) on “Security, Intelligence and the Global Health Crisis.”


During the COVID-19 crisis, this course will be offered entirely online.


$1350 + HST

Online course materials will be included in the course fee. The course will be offered in English and class size will be kept small: a minimum of 8 students and a maximum of 20 students.

To Register:

Candidates will be admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Prospective candidates for the course are asked to send a brief statement of interest and a short bio detailing their career and educational background. This material should be sent electronically to the following address:

Once your participation has been approved, please select the appropriate date to register:

For further Information on the Course

If you have questions regarding the registration process, please contact us at, phone: 613-796-6100.

Please read our cancellation policy.

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