Legal & Registry Services

The Legal and Registry Services section is comprised of a legal team including an Assistant Executive Director and General Counsel, legal counsel, and a registry team including the Registrar, Registry Officer and Case Management Officer.

Primary Responsibilities

NSIRA conducts investigations with respect to the following:

  • Complaints with respect to an activity carried out by Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) or the Communication Security Establishment (CSE);
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) complaints referred by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP regarding an activity that is closely related to national security;
  • Complaints regarding the denial of security clearances to federal government employees and contractors;
  • Referrals from the Canadian Human Rights Commission;
  • Minister’s reports pursuant to the Citizenship Act.

The key responsibilities of the Legal and Registry Services are to:

  1. Provide expert in-house legal services to NSIRA Members, the Executive Director of the Secretariat, Research and Corporate Services;
  2. Assist the NSIRA Members in their adjudicative role as independent decision-makers of a quasi-judicial tribunal when investigating complaints;
  3. Liaise with members of the public and complainants;
  4. Assist NSIRA in the determination of jurisdiction of intake complaint files;
  5. Provide the NSIRA Member who is presiding over a complaint hearing with the most complete and accurate factual information relating to the complaint;
  6. Cross-examine witnesses at an ex parte hearing on behalf of the Complainant; and
  7. Provide legal advice, analysis and opinions in the context of specific reviews as required.

The complaints process at NSIRA

NSIRA may receive inquiries regarding complaint cases either in writing or by telephone. NSIRA’s registry team responds to such inquiries in a timely manner and provides relevant information pertaining the process to be followed. NSIRA receives complaints from the public and RCMP complaints referred by the CRCC. Once a complaint is deemed received by the Review Agency, NSIRA conducts a preliminary review in exercising its statutory requirements with respect to jurisdiction regarding each complaint.

Should NSIRA determine that it has jurisdiction to investigate the complaint, complaints are investigated through a quasi-judicial hearing where the complainant has the right to be heard and make representations to the Review Agency.

For more information regarding the complaints process, please refer to the “Overview of Complaints Process before NSIRA”.   

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