Wednesday, May 30, 2018

More questions raised about Canadian military justice

Some fundamental structural questions were raised in a Canadian Senate hearing on Monday about sex offenses in the Canadian Armed Forces. Charlie Pinkerton reports here in iPolitics:
“Will you assure women victims that there will be equality between men and women on juries (in the military justice system)?” Conservative Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu asked the witnesses in French.

“There’s no rule currently that says that when there’s such and such a victim, or somebody from such and such a community, that somebody must have such and such representation on a (panel). The rules are random,” Col. David Antonyshyn, Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Military Justice Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, replied.

Military procedure dictates that the representation of a court martial panel is established based on the rank of the accused member. Panel members of the appropriate rank are selected at random by an administrator located within the office of the Military Chief Justice. . . .

How military panels are selected wasn’t the only procedure senators questioned, with Boisvenu wondering whether victims of sexual misconduct can choose which justice system their case is heard in.
Coupled with yesterday's report by the Auditor General of Canada, it seems reasonable to expect Parliament to maintain an unusually high level of interest in military justice. The question is whether (and how) the Judge Advocate General and the Department of National Defence will be able to get out in front.

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