John Major's Air India inquiry's key findings on relationship between intelligence and evidence

Retired Supreme Court of Canada justice John Major headed the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182.

The commission released the following key findings about the relationship between intelligence and evidence and the challenges of terrorism prosecutions:

Ӣ There is a lack of institutionalized coordination and direction in national security matters. Canadian agencies have developed a culture of managing information in a manner designed to protect their individual institutional interests.

Ӣ The current practice of attempting to limit the information CSIS provides to the RCMP in order to prevent its disclosure in potential criminal proceedings is misguided, as disclosure obligations at trial are engaged by potential relevance, not by which agency has seen the information. The result of such efforts to deny intelligence to the police is an impoverished response to terrorist threats.

Ӣ The processes and procedures by which decisions are made as to what information should be passed exchanged between the intelligence and law enforcement communities are seriously flawed and require substantial revision.

”¢ There is no “silver bullet” solution to reconciling the needs of intelligence and law enforcement. Neither interest is absolute and neither one can trump the claims of the other in all situations. Reform must be directed at improving decision making by ensuring that the decision maker is capable of taking into account both sets of interests as well as the broad national interest. The recommendations are structured to meet that objective.



Michael Krisko

Oct 30, 2010 at 1:51pm

Re: Some of Major's Air India Report recommendations must immediately be considered against the Oct 28/10 reports of cargo planes as terrorist targets. No need to re-invent the wheel herein to investigate cargo plane, tarmac and worker access applicability; nor, problems existing between law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Majors has already done the work in a sound and in-depth fashion. If there are any unanswered questions as a result of cargo planes and terrorist activity, then re-commission Majors who is best able to give the public, media, Parliament and law enforcement a realistic up-dated appraisal.