National Defence Act – Court Martial Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Chief Military Judge (proposed)

Description of the Objective

The aim of the Court Martial Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Chief Military Judge is to specify the procedures applicable at a court martial and at other proceedings before military judges and to improve the efficiency of these procedures. The rules will also assist in making the parties more accountable during the process leading to the trial as well as during the trial and other proceedings.

The administration of courts martial will be improved by making the regulation and stating namely to the parties, the rules of practice pertaining to the service of documents, exhibits or other things connected with any proceedings, the preliminary proceedings before courts martial, as well as pre-trial conferences and steps to be taken for the scheduling of trials by court martial and other judicial proceedings. As it is required that courts martial be convened by the court martial administrator in accordance with the National Defence Act and dates for trial and other proceedings be appropriately determined, the documents and information provided (in applying the rules of practice) will facilitate the efficiencies of the system and the sharing of information between key players required for the settlement of litigious issues.

Description of the Regulatory Proposal

The Court Martial Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Chief Military Judge provide direction to parties and set out procedures that promote consistency and enhance the fairness, transparency and efficiency of court martial proceedings as well as any proceedings held before military judges. They will replace the current Court Martial Rules of Practice (which are administrative in nature and are not regulations) that were promulgated by the Chief Military Judge many years ago.

The development of the Court Martial Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Chief Military Judge was made possible as a result of numerous meetings with representatives of the Court Martial Rules Committee, which consists of members specified in article 101.18 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces and was established for the purpose of consultation in the process leading to the final draft of the regulation.

Enabling Act

Section 165.3 of the National Defence Act.

Indication of Business Impacts

The proposed regulatory initiative applies to only courts martial and other judicial proceedings and has no implications on small businesses.

Public Consultation Opportunities

Consultations with the Court Martial Rules Committee are completed. Further consultations will take place with the pre-publication of the proposed regulation in Part I of the Canada Gazette, which would provide the general public with an opportunity to provide comments.

Departmental Contact

André Dufour, legal counsel
Office of the Chief Military Judge
National Defence Headquarters
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K2

Tel : 819-997-4894
Fax : 819-997-6321

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