Third Independent Review of the National Defence Act and Call for Submissions

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan has appointed the Honourable Morris J. Fish, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, as the Independent Review Authority, to conduct an independent review of specified provisions of the National Defence Act (NDA) and their operation. This will be the third independent review since the provision’s statutory creation.

Under Section 273.601 of the NDA, the Minister of National Defence is required to cause an independent review of specified provisions of the Act and their operation, and to table a report of the review in Parliament within a specified timeline. In this Independent Review, the specified provisions of the NDA that will be reviewed include those relating to military justice, military policing and police oversight, military grievances and external review of grievances.

The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are committed to supporting this process in the interests of ensuring that the military justice system continues to be fair and effective. As the Third Independent Review Authority, the Honourable Morris J. Fish will have complete access to DND employees and CAF personnel, as well as the members and staff of the Military Grievances External Review Committee, the Military Police Complaints Commission, and the DND/CAF Ombudsman.

Persons who have an interest in the military justice system (including the Code of Service Discipline), military grievances, the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (internal link), and the Military Police Complaints Commission are encouraged to provide comments to the Third Independent Review Authority by January 8, 2021. Persons making submissions should expect that their submissions shall be made public, however the Independent Review Authority maintains full discretion in this regard and may receive certain submissions in confidence.

A copy of the Ministerial Direction setting out the Terms of Reference for the Third Independent Review Authority can be found here: Annex 3 - Ministerial Direction- Third Independent Review.

Inquiries and submissions should be addressed to Mr. Jean-Philippe Groleau at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, by mail to 1501 McGill College Suite 2600, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 3N9, by telephone at 514-841-6583, or by email at:

Related links

Minister of National Defence appoints the Independent Review Authority to conduct the Third Independent Review of the National Defence Act

To acquire a copy of the 1st and/or 2nd Independent Review Report, please email

Maple Leaf article: The Third Independent Review of the National Defence Act and Call for Submissions

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