In 2007 (Winter/Spring of the 2006-07 academic year and Fall/Winter of the 2007-08 academic year), the Nathanson Centre organized a series of five workshops entitled “After Arar: A Workshop Series on Security Intelligence and Human Rights.” The series critically examined the issues raised by the experience of Maher Arar at the hands of Canadian, American, and Syrian state authorities and by the findings of the federal Commission of Inquiry conducted by Justice Dennis O’Connor, and through them the larger problems related to security intelligence and human rights in the contemporary context. The goal of the series was to promote discussion of contemporary transnational intelligence and security policies and practice, accountability, and human rights.
In addition to the five workshops held in Toronto, the Nathanson Centre also organized and sponsored a panel at the 2007 Annual Meeting of CASIS (Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies) in Calgary. The September 29, 2007, panel, “The Evolution of Global Electronic Surveillance: Technology, Policy, Human Rights” was chaired by Reg Whitaker, Distinguished Research Professor (Emeritus), York University and Adjunct professor of Political Science, University of Victoria. Panelists were Patrick Radden Keefe, Century Foundation and World Policy Institute; Maureen Webb, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada; and Professor Pina D’Agostino, Osgoode.