Chapter Seven: Communication and Outreach

Communication and outreach activities play a vital role in the legitimization of Canada’s military justice system. From key players in the military justice process as well as national and international strategic partners and organizations, communication and outreach activities form an integral part of the DMP’s strategic view to promoting Canada’s military justice system. In that regard, the DMP has made a concerted effort to engage a number of organizations to further enhance the legitimacy of Canada’s military justice system.  This Chapter sets out those communications and outreach activities by the DMP over the course of the reporting period.

CAF Chain of Command

The military justice system is designed to promote the operational effectiveness of the CAF by contributing to its maintenance of discipline, efficiency, and morale. It also ensures that justice is administered fairly and with respect for the rule of law. As the military justice system is but one of several tools available to the chain of command in order to help it reach these objectives, it is required that the DMP and those prosecutors within the CMPS actively and effectively engage the chain of command throughout the court martial process.

While protecting the prosecutorial independence  of the CMPS, the DMP recognizes the importance of maintaining collaborative relationships with the chain of command of the CAF. Collaborative relationships with the chain of command ensures that both entities work together to strengthen discipline and operational efficiency through a robust military justice system. During the reporting period, the DMP continued his practice of proactively meeting with senior members of the chain of command on different military bases across Canada.

During the reporting period, the DMP also participated as a guest speaker at the CAF Discipline Advisory Council held on January 14, 2019. On this occasion, the DMP had the opportunity to provide details on unit disciplinary investigations, victim support and an update on Beaudry to CWOs/CPO1s posted into various strategic positions within the CAF.

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Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

The CFNIS was established in 1997 with a mandate to investigate serious and sensitive matters related to DND and the CAF. It performs a function similar to that of a major crime unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or large municipal police agency.  It is important for all prosecutors to maintain a strong relationship with investigative agencies, while at the same time respecting the independence of each organization. Good relationships with investigative agencies ensure that the prosecutor and the investigator exercise their respective roles independently, but co-operatively, and help to maximize the CMPS’s effectiveness and efficiency as a prosecution service.

This reporting period the DMP visited nume-rous CFNIS detachments across the country to discuss prosecution needs and strategic intent. In addition, the DMP, accompanied by the DDMP for the Atlantic, Eastern and Pacific regions, presented at the CFNIS Indoctrination Course on DMP’s role and responsibilities, prosecutorial independence, and disclosure best practices. The presentation enhanced the incoming investigators’ awareness of the legislative and regulatory framework surrounding the role of a prosecutor.

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Federal, Provincial and Territorial Heads of Prosecutions Committee

The Federal, Provincial and Territorial Heads of Prosecutions (HoP) Committee is comprised of the DMP, the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the equivalent heads of all provincial and territorial prosecution services. It is a national coordination and consultation forum that discusses common problems which touch upon criminal law and practice management. In order to promote inter-jurisdictional cooperation on operational issues and afford a unique opportunity to keep abreast of new developments in the area of criminal prosecutions, the HoP Committee holds two meetings throughout the year at various locations across Canada. These meetings provided an invaluable opportunity for participants to discuss matters of common concern in the domain of criminal prosecutions and find opportunities for collaboration.

This reporting period the HoP Committee held two general meetings, both of which were personally attended by the DMP. The 55th general meeting of the HoP Committee was held in St. Andrews, NB on May 16 and 17, 2018. The DMP was an active participant during the discussions ensuring that the interests of the military justice system remain at the forefront of criminal law in Canada.

The 56th general meeting of the HoP Committee was co-hosted by the DMP at the CFB Esquimalt Wardroom and Chief Petty Officer’s & Petty Officer’s Mess facilities on October 24 and 25, 2018. In his capacity as co-chair the DMP ensured the promotion of the military justice system throughout the broader Canadian legal community and also ensured that the military justice system remains aligned with broader Canadian values further contributing to the legitimacy of the military justice system.  

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International Association of Prosecutors

The International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) is the only world-wide association of prosecutors. It is non-governmental and non-political.  It was established in 1995 and now has more than 183 organizational members from over 177 different countries, representing every continent. The IAP promotes the effective, fair, impartial, and efficient prosecution of criminal offences through high standards and principles, including procedures to prevent or address miscarriages of justice.

In addition, the IAP also promotes good relations between prosecution agencies and facilitates the exchange and dissemination of information, expertise and experience. Its annual conference is attended by prosecutors from a variety of nations, including other Canadian federal and provincial heads of prosecutions.

The DMP attended the IAP’s 23nd Annual Conference and General Meeting held from 9 to 13 September 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The main theme of the General Meeting was “Prosecutorial Independence – the Cornerstone of Justice to Society”. The DMP presented on the enforcement of sexual misconduct in the CAF at the main plenary session as well as co-chaired two meetings of the Network for Military Prosecutors.

In addition, the DMP participated as moderator to the 5th IAP Regional Conference for North America and the Caribbean held in October 2018 in Toronto. Also at the Regional Conference, the DDMP for the Central and Western regions presented on mental health for prosecutors outlining those initiatives put in place within the CMPS in order to improve mental health and resiliency.

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United Nations

The DMP was invited to speak at the United Nations in New York as a representative of the IAP about bringing terrorists to justice before national courts. The DMP spoke about the myriad of challenges faced by investigators and prosecutors in the collection and preservation of evidence in conflict areas and the difficulty in complying with national law to have this evidence admitted during criminal prosecutions.

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Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia

During the reporting period, the DMP was invited by the Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia to speak to its members about the military justice system, the role of the DMP and current key issues facing the administration of military justice in the CAF. The DMP spoke to a number of issues outlining his role and responsibilities, prosecutorial independence and key cases moving through the military justice system.

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Ukraine – Reforming Ukraine’s Military Justice System

In May of 2018, the previous ADMP attended a conference in the Ukraine regarding military justice reform in the Ukraine. The ADMP presented an overview of the Canadian military justice system and the role and responsibilities of the DMP with a view to informing the discussion and providing a balanced voice as the Ukraine continues to take steps to advance its own national military justice system.

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