Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Reform in Canada: curtain up!

The Judge Advocate General of Canada has posted a very welcoming web page inviting comments on the comprehensive review of the military justice system. You can find it here. Of note: "Our intention is to make public as much of the input that we receive from the public as possible in order to promote informed and constructive discourse on the topic."

This is a smart kick-off for an important effort. The idea of making comments public -- a procedural step regrettably not taken by the Military Justice Review Group in the United States -- deserves a round of applause.

The Editor hereby offers a few comments (questions, really) from South of the Border to start things rolling:

1. Is military justice sufficiently special as a body of jurisprudence that a separate appeal court (I know, I know, the judges are drawn from other courts in Canada; they do have day jobs) is warranted?

2. How about an across the board rule that any offense that can be tried in a Canadian civilian court must be tried there?

3. How about instituting a service-connection/nexus requirement for subject matter jurisdiction, à la O'Callahan v. Parker and Relford v. Commandant, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks?

What suggestions would you make?

Postscript: the comments form on the CF website requires designation of a province. The Editor has just suggested that there ought to be an option for those outside Canada. (I arbitrarily selected Ontario in order to work past this obstacle.)

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