Wednesday, September 7, 2016

CDS asked to open up military to an impartial, independent third party review of progress to stamp out sexual misconduct

Chief of Defence Staff - General Jonathan Vance
Architect of Operation Honour
 New fellow blogger André Marin has written an editorial published in the Toronto Sun and the Ottawa Sun in reaction to the Chief of the Defence Staff’s sortie last week at a press conference to provide Canadians with a progress report on the issue of sexual misconduct in the Canafian military: Time to clean up sex abuse in the military.

In his editorial, Marin points out that the military was granted jurisdiction over sexual assaults offences back in 1998  in reaction to the publication by MacLean’s magazine to four separate  cover stories following a nine-month journalistic investigation.  Until then, he notes, military disciplinary tribunals were barred from prosecuting sexual assault charges, along with murder, manslaughter and kidnapping of children. Marin goes on to state that in the almost two decades since being granted jurisdiction , 
“It looked as if nothing really had changed."
General Vance's Progress Report

Marin also scoffs at General Vance's grandiloquent claims last week at a press conference to be on top of the problem.  

Marin cites the current initiative to ‘clean-up the military’s sexual misconduct practices, called Operation Honour – Op Honour” which was widely ridiculed in military circles by a play on words as “Hop on Her.” Addressing what he calls the 'glowing self-reviews and self-congratulatory performance" during last week news conference, Marin suggests that such a task should be handed to an impartial, independent third party. He also recommends that sex offenders be tried in civilian criminal court, not internally before a disciplinary tribunal.

Canadian Victims Bill of Rights excludes victims of military offenders

Lastly, he urges the Trudeau government to amend the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights so that victims of military offenders be treated the same as civilian victims.  At present, victims of military offenders are shamefully excluded [see subsection 18(3)] from the benefits of that Bill of Rights. 

 André is not a newcomer to military justice. 
André Marin
Among his impressive credentials: a) Between 1991-1996, he served as an Assistant Crown Attorney in Ottawa ; b) between 1996 to 1998, he served as the Director of the Province of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit; c) between 1998 and 2006, he served as Canada’s first Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces; d) between 2005 to 2015, he served as the Ombudsman of Ontario

He is now a part-time professor of law at Ottawa University.

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