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National Defence Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. N-5)

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Act current to 2019-07-01 and last amended on 2019-06-21. Previous Versions

PART VMiscellaneous Provisions Having General Application (continued)


Marginal note:Searches

 Except as provided for by regulations made pursuant to section 273.1, the following, namely,

  • (a) quarters under the control of the Canadian Forces or the Department and occupied for residential purposes by any person subject to the Code of Service Discipline either alone or with that person’s dependants, as well as any locker or storage space located in those quarters and exclusively used by that person or those dependants for personal purposes, and

  • (b) the personal or movable property of any person subject to the Code of Service Discipline located in, on or about any defence establishment, work for defence or materiel,

may be searched only if a warrant for that purpose has been issued or the search is otherwise authorized by law.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 59
  • 1998, c. 35, s. 85

Marginal note:Warrant by commanding officer

 Subject to sections 273.4 and 273.5, a commanding officer who is satisfied by information on oath that there is in any quarters, locker, storage space or personal or movable property referred to in section 273.2

  • (a) anything on or in respect of which any offence against this Act has been or is believed on reasonable grounds to have been committed,

  • (b) anything that there are reasonable grounds to believe will afford evidence with respect to the commission of an offence against this Act, or

  • (c) anything that there are reasonable grounds to believe is intended to be used for the purpose of committing any offence against the person for which a person may be arrested without warrant,

may issue a warrant authorizing any officer or non-commissioned member named in the warrant, assisted by such other officers and non-commissioned members as are necessary, or a peace officer, to search the quarters, locker, storage space or personal or movable property for any such thing, and to seize and carry it before that commanding officer.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 59
  • 1998, c. 35, s. 86

Marginal note:Investigating commanding officer

 The commanding officer who carries out or directly supervises the investigation of any matter may issue a warrant pursuant to section 273.3 in relation to that investigation only if that commanding officer believes on reasonable grounds that

  • (a) the conditions for the issuance of the warrant exist; and

  • (b) no other commanding officer is readily available to determine whether the warrant should be issued.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 59

Marginal note:Military police

 Section 273.3 does not apply to a commanding officer of a military police unit.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 59

Public Service

Marginal note:Public service

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Governor in Council or the Minister may authorize the Canadian Forces to perform any duty involving public service.

  • Marginal note:Law enforcement assistance

    (2) The Governor in Council, or the Minister on the request of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness or any other Minister, may issue directions authorizing the Canadian Forces to provide assistance in respect of any law enforcement matter if the Governor in Council or the Minister, as the case may be, considers that

    • (a) the assistance is in the national interest; and

    • (b) the matter cannot be effectively dealt with except with the assistance of the Canadian Forces.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3) Subsection (2) does not apply in respect of assistance that is of a minor nature and limited to logistical, technical or administrative support.

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (4) The authority of the Minister under this section is subject to any directions issued by the Governor in Council.

  • 1998, c. 35, s. 87
  • 2005, c. 10, s. 34

Independent Review

Marginal note:Review

  •  (1) The Minister shall cause an independent review of the following provisions, and their operation, to be undertaken:

    • (a) sections 18.3 to 18.6;

    • (b) sections 29 to 29.28;

    • (c) Parts III and IV; and

    • (d) sections 251, 251.2, 256, 270, 272, 273 to 273.5 and 302.

  • Marginal note:Report to Parliament

    (2) The Minister shall cause a report of a review to be laid before each House of Parliament within seven years after the day on which this section comes into force, and within every seven-year period after the tabling of a report under this subsection.

  • Marginal note:Amending legislation

    (3) However, if an Act of Parliament amends this Act based on an independent review, the next report shall be tabled within seven years after the day on which the amending Act is assented to.

  • 2013, c. 24, s. 101

PART V.1Communications Security Establishment

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Part.


Canadian means a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or a body corporate incorporated and continued under the laws of Canada or a province. (Canadien)


entity means a person, group, trust, partnership or fund or an unincorporated association or organization and includes a state or a political subdivision or agency of a state. (entité)

foreign intelligence

foreign intelligence means information or intelligence about the capabilities, intentions or activities of a foreign individual, state, organization or terrorist group, as they relate to international affairs, defence or security. (renseignements étrangers)

global information infrastructure

global information infrastructure includes electromagnetic emissions, communications systems, information technology systems and networks, and any data or technical information carried on, contained in or relating to those emissions, systems or networks. (infrastructure mondiale d’information)


Minister means the Minister of National Defence or such other member of the Queen’s Privy Council as may be designated by the Governor in Council to be responsible for the Communications Security Establishment. (ministre)

private communication

private communication has the same meaning as in section 183 of the Criminal Code. (communication privée)

  • 2001, c. 41, ss. 102, 128

Marginal note:Communications Security Establishment continued

  •  (1) The part of the federal public administration known as the Communications Security Establishment is hereby continued.

  • Marginal note:Chief

    (2) The Chief of the Communications Security Establishment, under the direction of the Minister or any person designated by the Minister, has the management and control of the Establishment and all matters relating to it.

  • Marginal note:Directions by Minister

    (3) The Minister may issue written directions to the Chief respecting the carrying out of the Chief’s duties and functions.

  • Marginal note:Directions not statutory instruments

    (4) Directions issued under subsection (3) are not statutory instruments within the meaning of the Statutory Instruments Act.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 102
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E)

Marginal note:Appointment of Commissioner

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may appoint a supernumerary judge or a retired judge of a superior court as Commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment to hold office, during good behaviour, for a term of not more than five years.

  • Marginal note:Duties

    (2) The duties of the Commissioner are

    • (a) to review the activities of the Establishment to ensure that they are in compliance with the law;

    • (b) in response to a complaint, to undertake any investigation that the Commissioner considers necessary; and

    • (c) to inform the Minister and the Attorney General of Canada of any activity of the Establishment that the Commissioner believes may not be in compliance with the law.

  • Marginal note:Annual report

    (3) The Commissioner shall, within 90 days after the end of each fiscal year, submit an annual report to the Minister on the Commissioner’s activities and findings, and the Minister shall cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the Minister receives the report.

  • Marginal note:Powers of investigation

    (4) In carrying out his or her duties, the Commissioner has all the powers of a commissioner under Part II of the Inquiries Act.

  • Marginal note:Employment of legal counsel, advisers, etc.

    (5) The Commissioner may engage the services of such legal counsel, technical advisers and assistants as the Commissioner considers necessary for the proper performance of his or her duties and, with the approval of the Treasury Board, may fix and pay their remuneration and expenses.

  • Marginal note:Directions

    (6) The Commissioner shall carry out such duties and functions as are assigned to the Commissioner by this Part or any other Act of Parliament, and may carry out or engage in such other related assignments or activities as may be authorized by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Transitional

    (7) The Commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment holding office immediately before the coming into force of this section shall continue in office for the remainder of the term for which he or she was appointed.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 102
  • 2013, c. 24, s. 102(F)
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