Monday, November 14, 2016

Who should conduct Canada's review of its military justice system?

In October 2016, the Judge Advocate General announced that he was launching a public consultation exercise as part of a comprehensive review of the "court martial system."

The Honorable Gilles Létourneau and Professor Michel W. Drapeau have serious reservations about having the military lead this consultation process. It is akin, they wrote, to having bankers re-tool the banking legislation. In a democracy that job belongs to 'elected officials', namely legislators.

It is Parliament NOT the military that needs to embark upon a review of the scope of jurisdiction of the Canadian penal military justice system and the resulting modus operandi of the court martial system. Therefore, they write, only soft reforms acceptable and compatible with the military mind and the views of the chain of command are likely to result from this in-house JAG self-initiated review of the military justice system.

These in-house reforms would have no significant effect as they would permit the JAG to continue lording over this broken military justice system. See Opinion Piece; "It's time for a civilian review of the military justice system" published today in Hill Times (the Parliamentary Precinct newspaper).

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