2017-2018 Director of Military Prosecutions Annual Report

Letter from the Director of Military Prosecutions to the Judge Advocate General

National Defence
Director of Military Prosecutions
National Defence Headquarters
Major-General George R. Pearkes Building
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0K2

15 June 2018

Commodore Geneviève Bernatchez, CD
Judge Advocate General
National Defence Headquarters
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K2

Commodore Bernatchez,

Pursuant to article 110.11 of the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces, I am pleased to present you with the 2017-2018 Annual Report of the Director of Military Prosecutions. The report covers the period from 1 April 2017 through 31 March 2018.

Yours sincerely,

Colonel B.W. MacGregor, CD
Director of Military Prosecutions

Message from the Director of Military Prosecutions

I am pleased to present the Director of Military Prosecutions (DMP) Annual Report for the 2017-2018 reporting period, my fourth since being appointed as DMP on 20 October 2014.

As provided for in the National Defence Act (NDA), the DMP is responsible for the preferral of charges and prosecution of cases at courts martial under the Code of Service Discipline (CSD); he acts as counsel for the Minister of National Defence in respect of appeals to the Court Martial Appeal Court (CMAC) and Supreme Court of Canada (SCC); and he provides legal advice to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS). Bolstered by his security of tenure as set out in legislation, the DMP fulfils his legal mandate in a fair, impartial and independent manner.

Canadians expect disciplined military forces that comply with Canadian and international law. The maintenance of discipline in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is the responsibility of the chain of command and is crucial for operational effectiveness and mission success. A disciplined military promotes a respectful work environment, supportive of diversity, in which members feel valued and are motivated to contribute to mission success and to reach their full potential. The military justice system is designed to support the maintenance of discipline, efficiency and morale of CAF members as well as heightening respect for the rule of law.

During the fiscal year 2017-2018, the Canadian Military Prosecution Service (CMPS) remained committed to conducting prosecutions in a manner that is fair, transparent and responsive. To this end, CMPS continued to further push ahead initiatives that were launched during the previous reporting period, notably regarding the improvement of data collection and reporting tools to enhance decision-making and resource allocation, the updating of its policies which included the creation of the Deputy Director of Military Prosecutions (DDMP) Sexual Misconduct Action Response Team (SMART) position and through the provision of specialized training to prosecutors pertaining to sexual misconduct offences and mental readiness.

CMPS has been actively involved in support of the efforts of the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) of Canada in conducting a review of the administration of military justice in the CAF and also the Court Martial Comprehensive Review (CMCR) mandated by the Judge Advocate General (JAG) by providing comments and data that illustrate the work being done by our military prosecutors and support staff on a daily basis.

Respecting appeals, in R v Private Déry et al., 2017 CMAC 2, a second panel of the CMAC unanimously found that it was bound by its previous decision in R v Master Corporal Royes respecting the constitutionality of paragraph 130(1)(a) of the NDA vis-à-vis section 11(f) of the Charter. A third panel heard arguments on this issue on 30 January 2018 in the case of Corporal Beaudry and the CMAC has reserved its decision.

There were also several decisions rendered by the CMAC on other questions of law in the cases of R v Major Wellwood, 2017 CMAC 4; R v Warrant Officer Gagnon, 2018 CMAC 1; R v Corporal Golzari, 2017 CMAC 3; R v Corporal Hoekstra, 2017 CMAC 5; and R v Master Corporal Edmunds. Details about these cases can be found in the appeals section of chapter 3 of this report.

In closing, I wish to thank once more the CMPS team for their efforts and hard work. While this past year has been rife with challenges, I am confident that we were successful in meeting them and thus, in the process, remained resolutely committed to improving the quality and efficiency of military prosecutions.


Colonel Bruce MacGregor, CD
Director of Military Prosecutions

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