Thursday, December 3, 2020

Third Independent Review (Canada)

The Honourable Morris J. Fish, CC, QC, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, has been appointed by The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, as the third Independent Review Authority. As such, Justice Fish is tasked with conducting an independent review of the entire military justice system in Canada, embracing but not limited to the following matters:
The content of the Code of Service Discipline and its application by military authorities, including: the persons subject to the Code of Service Discipline; the entire body of substantive service offences, including offences of a sexual nature and offences with racial motives; the punishments prescribed to sanction service offences, including imprisonment and detention; arrest and pre-trial custody; summary trials by commanding officers or superior commanders, and their upcoming replacement by summary hearings; trials by Court Martial, including the process for preferring charges, the conduct of preliminary proceedings and of the trials themselves, and the applicable laws of evidence; the office and role of the Director of Military Prosecutions; the office and role of the Director of Defence Counsel Services; the office and role of the Chief Military Judge and of military judges; sentencing; appeals to the Court Martial Appeal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada; The military police, including: the office and role of the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal; inspections, searches and seizures, the conduct of investigations, training; complaints about or by military police, including the role of the Military Police Complaints Commission; and The system of military grievances, including: the manner and conditions of submitting grievances; the handling of grievances by the Canadian Armed Forces; the role of the Military Grievances External Review Committee; and the roles of initial authorities and of the Chief of Defence Staff as final authority in the grievance process.
Justice Fish is assisted in his independent review by his Senior Counsel, Jean-Philippe Groleau, a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP; his Junior Counsel, Guillaume Charlebois, an associate at the same firm; and his Senior Consultant, Morris Rosenberg CM, a former deputy minister of justice, of health and of foreign affairs with the government of Canada. Justice Fish and the members of his team are all independent of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. Justice Fish and his team invite any member of the public or of the Canadian Armed Forces who has an interest in the above-mentioned subjects particularly or in the military justice system in general to contact them at Anyone without easy access to the internet or to an email address can also contact Mr. Groleau at 514.841.6583. Justice Fish and his team are prepared, upon request and in the exercise of their discretion, to receive submissions in confidence from members of the public and members of the Canadian Armed Forces alike. Submissions may otherwise be made public. The deadline for submissions is January 8, 2021. Requests for an extension on exceptional grounds must be addressed to Mr. Groleau before January 8. SOURCE The Independent Review Authority For further information: Jean-Philippe Groleau, Senior Counsel to the Independent Review Authority,, 514-841-6583

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