Guantánamo North: Terrorism and the Administration of Justice in Canada.


128 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 978-1-5526-6279-3
DDC 345.71'02





Reviewed by J.L. Granatstein

J.L. Granatstein is a history professor at York University and author of
War and Peacekeeping and For Better or For Worse.


The title of this book foolishly aims to shock; and what it does is suggest that Diab, an instructor at Capilano College in North Vancouver, is going to present a diatribe. Instead, he gives us a closely reasoned analysis of Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act, the nation’s legislative response to the events of 9/11.


Diab believes that the law violated a number of constitutional rights but could nonetheless be described as “constitutional,” thus allowing Ottawa to expand state powers and claim that it was balancing security and freedom. To back up his assertions, the author looks at how the courts have acted, and he finds “extreme differences of opinion and a number of inconsistent rulings,” which should not be surprising. Finally, Diab looks at the impact of the War on Terror on Canadian law enforcement and intelligence, and he fears that the increased cooperation among agencies (which he concedes was necessary) nonetheless makes it harder to hold investigators accountable. Worse yet, he worries that secrecy, always expanding, will make it more difficult to sustain public confidence in the accountability of law enforcement in security cases.


This is a careful study that points to problems that should worry all Canadians.


Diab, Robert., “Guantánamo North: Terrorism and the Administration of Justice in Canada.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 16, 2024,