Saturday, November 17, 2018

Summary trials

The English version of the Barreau du Québec's submission to the House of Commons with respect to Bill C-77 is now available here. Excerpt:
2.6.1 Independence of the decision maker

The bill does not change the fact that it is the commanding officers who determine whether soldiers have committed a service infraction and who impose a sanction, where necessary. It is easy to understand that because of their duty to prevent and punish any misconduct among their troops, particularly any violation of international humanitarian law in the theater of operations abroad,the power to maintain discipline, ultimately through military justice, is closely related to the Command position.

By removing some penal aspects from the current system, the bill reduces the need for an
independent decision maker within the meaning of paragraph 11d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That said, compared to the regime applicable to police officers, particularly in terms of ethics, military decision makers are less independent.

The Barreau du Québec therefore suggests the adoption of counterbalancing measures to ensure that commanding officers carry out their tasks as impartially as possible, but without requiring total independence that would undermine the efficiency of the commanding officers in their roles as custodians of discipline among the troops.
(Footnote omitted.)

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