Traditional analyses of Canada's behaviour on international human rights tend to view it through the prism of the state's global identity as a good international citizen. Such explanations are limited in helping us understand Canada's inconsistent responses to allegations that two citizens were tortured in the war on terror-Maher Arar and Omar Khadr. This article uses Jutta Brunne'e and Stephen Toope's interactional account, which emphasizes the need for continuous shared practices of legality in order for international human rights norms to exert influence, to analyze Canada's responses to the torture of citizens. It argues that to make sense of Canada's behaviour, we need to examine the role of different state and non-state actors in terms of whether they were agitating for Canada's compliance with the international prohibition against torture. Civil society was critical in shaping the responses of the Canadian state to the torture of citizens.