Monday, April 27, 2015

Military victims of crime and their families are excluded from the protection of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

Victims of an offence and their families whose offence
 are investigated or proceeded with under the
Code of Service Discipline
are excluded from the protection
of the Victims Bill of Rights
Bill - 32 enacts the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights which specifies that victims of crimes have the following rights: (a) the right to information about the criminal justice system, the programs and services that are available to victims of crime and the complaints procedures that are available to them when their rights have been infringed or denied; (b) the right to information about the status of the police investigation and the criminal proceedings; (c) the right to have their security and privacy considered; and (d) the right to protection from intimidation and retaliation; etc.

In an address to the House of Commons on February 20, 2015 the Minister of Justice, the Hon. Peter Mackay, noted that this Bill had been a top priority of the government, putting victims at the very epicentre of the justice system. The Bill received Royal Assent on April 3, 2015.


Inexplicably, this Bill applies only to victims of an offence and their families in their interactions with the civil criminal justice system. Section 18(c) of the Bill, which reads as follows, excludes members of the military who are victims of an offence that is investigated or proceeded with under the National Defence Act.

18 (3) This Act does not apply in respect of offences that are service offences, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the National Defence Act, that are investigated or proceeded with under that Act.

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