Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Prosecutorial independence comes to center stage in Canada

In H.M. The Queen v. Gagnon, 2015 CACM 2, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada yesterday declared that the right of appeal of the Minister of National Defence under § 230.1 of the National Defence Act is unconstitutional. The court suspended its declaration of invalidity for six months. It found that the provision at issue violated the right to be prosecuted by an independent prosecutor. The opinion of the court was delivered by Judge Guy Cournoyer, joined by Judge Alexandre Deschênes. Chief Justice B. Richard Bell concurred in part. Only the French version of the judgment has been released. Look for the English version in January.

We hope to have further commentary on this case, including its appealability to the Supreme Court of Canada, in the coming days.

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