An Empirical Study of Terrorism Prosecutions in Canada: Elucidating the Elements of the Offences

  • Michael Nesbitt
  • Dana Hagg


It has now been over 15 years since Canada enacted the Anti-Terrorism Act, codifying what we think of today as Canada’s anti-terrorism criminal laws. The authors set out to canvass how these provisions have been judicially interpreted since their inception through an empirical analysis of court decisions. After exploring how courts have settled initial concerns about these provisions with respect to religious and expressive freedoms, the authors suggest that courts’ interpretations of Canada’s terrorism offences still leave us with many questions, particularly with respect to the facilitation and financing offences. The authors explore these questions and speculate about future challenges that may or may not be successful with the hopes of providing guidance to prosecutors and defence lawyers working in this area.