Ignoring the “Will” of Parliament and a broken Military Justice System and

Legal System Concept. Magnifying Glass on Old Paper with Red Vertical Line Background.

Suggestions for much-needed modernization and enhanced fairness of the military justice system have so far been met with an indifferent reception from the lawmakers. Such matters as sexual assaults in the military, mistreatment of military families and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders [PTSD] sufferers, in camera military Boards of inquiry instead of public Coroners’ inquests, a broken military grievance system, the lack of military police competence or the occasional hues and cries from the public, driven principally by media reports, might all appear ab initio to be forceful agents for real change.

However in reality such clamouring has not led parliamentarians to make legislative changes that would contemporize the military justice system. Yet, one would legitimately expect changes which are in-line with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and contemporary Canadian legal doctrine and principles as well as in harmony with reforms enacted by a majority of the Canadian allies.

Rule of lawIronically, however, when Parliament did act, the military was able to delay to this day the implementation of many of such reforms. For instance, as of November 8, 2016, only 63 of the 134 sections of Bill C-15 (47%) which were enacted into law in June 2013 have now been put in force. Pending provisions covering areas such as extensions of limitation periods for civil claims, the scope of sentencing principles, absolute discharge, intermittent sentences, restitution and victim impact statements aimed at rendering fairer our military justice system are simply side-tracked.

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