Parliamentary Control of armed forces; a matter of national urgency and of Public Interest, retired Justice Gilles Létourneau and Professor Michel Drapeau posit, inter alia, that in Canada the Director of Military Prosecutions (DMP) lacks the required prosecutorial independence.
The article notes that the Judge Advocate General (JAG) who reports directly to the Minister of National Defence actually supervises the DMP. Additionally, lawyers working in the DMP are an integral part of the JAG’s chain of command; their selection for service within the DMP as well as their subsequent postings and assignments, appointments and promotions are all determined by the JAG chain of command to which they are totally subservient and obedient.
The authors also submit that the time has come for the Canadian Parliament to review, if not restrict, the extraordinary reserved authority, powers, control and influence of the JAG over the superintendence of the military justice system.
Needed military law reforms cannot, they write, realistically come from within the Defence establishment. This onerous task and responsibility, are that of the legislator who should advance strong and pressing legislative corrective medicine in order to modernize and democratize the Canadian military justice system.