Thursday, January 23, 2014

Prosecution of children before service tribunals

His Honour (retired)
 Judge Gilles Letourneau
Under Canadian military law, the accompanying family of a member of the Canadian Forces or persons under contract with the Canadian Forces are subject to the military Code of Service Discipline. A minor may and will be prosecuted before and tried by a service tribunal. Should that child be deprived of the benefits of the Youth Criminal Justice Act such as diversion from the penal system? Is this differential and likely more punitive treatment of a child justified when the Canadian civil courts retain jurisdiction over offences committed by persons subject to the Code of Service Discipline, even when committed abroad? Should not children be referred to the civilian system of justice? Should not the Attorneys General who are responsible for the administration of justice ensure that the legislation mandates the transfer of children to civilian youth courts to make sure that prosecution of children before military tribunals do not occur?

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