Monday, November 23, 2015

Writing Competition (Bill C-???)

If, notwithstanding the Supreme Court of Canada's ink-still-wet decision in R. v. Moriarity, 2015 SCC 55, you believe Canadian military justice should not make every civilian criminal offense a military offense, or that there should be a nexus (or service connection) requirement for court-martial subject-matter jurisdiction, what would the legislation needed to achieve either or both of those goals look like?

Departing from our usual rigid real-names-only comments policy, Global Military Justice Reform hereby invites readers to submit draft legislative proposals even if they feel a need to do so anonymously. Please take your time on this, and post actual bill language.

The best submission for Bill C-??? will receive special mention on the website. Who will be mentioned in dispatches?


  1. A good and urgent task would be to amend section 70 of the National Defence Act which already restricts the jurisdiction of the military justice system by including "sexual assaults." Section 70 should therefore read as follows:


    70. A service tribunal shall not try any person charged with any of the following offences committed in Canada:

    a) murder;
    b) manslaughter;
    c) an offence under any of the section s 280 to 283 of the Criminal Code (kidnaping of children); or
    d) sexual assault.

  2. Colonel Drapeau - am I correct in interpreting your suggestion as prohibiting trial by court-martial of the specified offenses, as only limiting such jurisdiction to the specified offenses committed within the territorial boundaries of Canada?

    1. Agree. This legislative change would address the most urgent and called-for reform. There is already public clamour in Canada for such a change as a way to address the current rather high percentage of victims of sexual assaults who do not report the crimes because of their lack of confidence in both the military police investigative structure and the independence of the military prosecutorial machinery. Be that at it may, I truly envisions a much wider and deeper reform to the military justice system. In short, I honestly believe that the military should have their own disciplinary system and its own disciplinary tribunals. Crimes covered by the common law occurring in Canada should all be prosecuted and tried by civilian authorities.


Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).