SJD Candidate
Thesis title:
Protecting Rights in the Digital Age: The Application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Cyberspace
Office in Falconer Hall
84 Queen's Park
Toronto, M5S 2C5

Leah West is a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Law. Leah practices and studies national security law, and her current teaching and research interests explore the application of criminal, constitutional and international law to state conduct in cyberspace. Leah regularly lectures and engages with the media on her areas of research interest, and she is actively involved in the organization of the Canadian National Rounds of the Phillip C Jessup International Law Moot. She is also a founding editor of the Intrepid Blog ( 

Leah previously served as Counsel with the Department of Justice in the National Security Litigation and Advisory Group where she appeared before the Federal Court in designated proceedings and the Security Intelligence Review Committee.  Before being called to the Ontario Bar in 2016, Leah clerked for the Honourable Justice Mosley of the Federal Court of Canada.

Prior to attending law school, Leah served in the Canadian Armed Forces for ten years as an Armoured Officer; she deployed to Afghanistan in 2010.

Leah will be joining the faculty at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University as a Lecturer of National Security and Intelligence in July 2019. 


University of Toronto, SJD Candidate (2018-Present)
University of Ottawa, LLM- International Humanitarian and Security Law (2018)
University of Toronto, JD (2015)
American Military University, MA - Intelligence Studies (2012)
Royal Military College of Canada, BA (Hons)- Politics
Awards and Distinctions
PEO Scholar Award (2019)
University of Toronto Faculty of Law Doctoral Fellowship (2018-2019)
CDAI Nichola Goddard "Game Changer" Award (2017)
University of Ottawa Anti-Terrorism Law Fellowship (2016-2018)
University of Ottawa Admission Scholarship (2016)
Women in Defence and Security Memorial Scholarship (2014)
Royal Military College "Sword of Honour" (2007)
Canadian Defence Association Profession of Arms Award (2007)
CIS Academic All Canadian (2005, 2006, 2007)
Professional Affiliations
Member in Good Standing- Ontario Law Society
Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society- Jr Affiliate
Canadian Bar Association
Ontario Bar Association
Selected Publications

Craig Forcese & Leah West. National Security Law, 2nd Ed (forthcoming Irwin Law, 2019).

“Cyber Force: The International Legal Implications of the Communication Security Establishment’s Expanded Mandate under Bill C-59” (in press) Canadian Journal of Law and Technology, Winter 2018, 35 pages.

“The Problem of Relevance: Intelligence to Evidence Lessons from UK Terrorism Prosecutions” (2018) 41:4 Manitoba Law Journal 57-112.

with Craig Forcese, “Killing Citizens: Core Legal Dilemmas in the Targeted Killing of Canadian Terrorist Fighters Abroad” (2017) 54 Canadian Yearbook of International Law 134-187.

Opinions and Media

“Canada’s Foreign Fighter Problem is No Surprise,” (24 October 2018)

“Canada Tries Domestic Bulk Collection: It Just Might Work,” (26 March 2018)

A Podcast Called Intrepid, Episode 53 “CSE and the Insta-Pot of Mayhem,” 5 October 2018

Episode 44 “War of the Words,” 2 July 2018

Episode 28 “Pulling More Threads in the Gordian Knot- More on Intelligence to Evidence,” 20 March 2018.

“Crime and the Wireless World” (2013) 8:2 Frontline Security  20.

Forthcoming Book Chapters

“Watchful Eyes: Review and Oversight in Canada” in Stephanie Carvin, Thomas Juneau and Craig Forcese, eds, The Canadian Security and Intelligence Community (forthcoming).

with Craig Forcese, “Judicial supervision of counter-terrorism laws in comparative democracies” in Ben Saul ed, Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism, 2nd Ed (forthcoming Edward Elgar: North Hampton).


Research Interests
Canadian Constitutional Law
Charter of Rights
Comparative Law
Criminal Procedure and Evidence
Immigration and Citizenship Law
International Law
National Security Law and Anti-Terrorism Law
Committee Members