Protecting Privacy


This year's conference is Protecting Privacy: Domestic and International Criminal Justice Responses to Crimes Against Personal Privacy and the Balance Between Indivicual Privacy and Collective Security.

The digital and internet age has thrown up a vast array of challenges for criminal law. The internet provides a new platform for criminal activity. Cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying and internet luring are only a few of the new additions to the criminal law vocabulary. While national boundaries restrain law enforcement, they have become all but irrelevant to the commission of crimes. And the anonymity provided by the internet creates a new and expansive space for virtually untraceable criminal activity. These developments pose new and daunting challenges to law enforcement. But at the same time, modern technology has provided many new tools to fight crime, particularly in the areas of surveillance and information-sharing. These developments prompt the questions of whether the concept of privacy remains a useful legal conception and, even if it is, whether there can still be any meaningful protection of privacy in the digital and internet age. Overshadowing these issues is the all-too-real threat of terrorist activity in the form of both violent attacks and financial dealings to support them.

This conference will examine and promote discussion and debate of the challenges that privacy concerns and technological change pose to international and national criminal justice systems. The key question is how the criminal justice system can properly respond to the competing demands of privacy, law enforcement effectiveness and national security. Topics to be addressed include: international cooperation in the fight against cybercrime; the human rights implications of sharing personal information and other intelligence across national borders; the boundaries of surveillance, search and seizure; the scope and place of privacy as a human right and as a limit on state investigative and intelligence activities; the collection, use and potential abuse of personal data; and the implications of intrusions into privacy for the exercise of democratic rights.



Conference Chairs

Chairing this year’s event are the Honourable Thomas Cromwell, Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and the Honourable Michael MacDonald, Chief Justice of Nova Scotia.

International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law

The International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law is a non-governmental association of judges, legislators, lawyers, academics, governmental officials, police and corrections professionals who have come together to work actively on the administration of criminal justice both in their own jurisdiction and internationally.

Since its inception, the Society has demonstrated its dedication to explore trans-national strategies to improve criminal law policy and legislation. Past conferences have focused on such topics as sentencing and corrections reform, commercial and financial fraud, human rights, and the globalization of crime.

This is the eighth time the conference has come to Canada and the first time it’s been held east of Montreal. CLICK HERE FOR INFO ON PAST EVENTS >>