ARCHIVED - Introduction - Judge Advocate General Annual Report 2010-11

The Judge Advocate General, Brigadier-General B. B. Cathcart.

It is with great pleasure that I report on the administration of military justice in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for the period 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011. This is my first report since my appointment as the Judge Advocate General (JAG) on 13 April 2010.

The last year has been an extremely active and challenging period for the Office of the JAG. During the reporting period, the office has been called upon to deliver legal advice on a broad spectrum of issues, often under stressful circumstances and with short timelines. All members of the Office of the JAG have supported 9 operations; we have deployed 22 legal officers on 5 international operations and 10 legal officers on 4 domestic operations.

Following my appointment, I initiated a review of the activities of the Office of the JAG to ensure that everything we do is focussed on the mission and goals of the CAF and the Department of National Defence (DND). Following this review, on 28 January 2011, I issued the JAG Mission and Vision Statement. One driving force for the review was my concern that the consistently high demands and competing priorities that are placed upon all members of the Office of the JAG do not result in an unhealthy and demoralizing work/life balance. We must ensure that we care for our people and their families, and this strategic goal is a key objective in the Mission and Vision Statement.

The JAG Mission and Vision Statement is described in greater detail in Chapter II of this report. As you will note, military justice figures prominently. The JAG Mission and Vision Statement recognizes the role of the JAG as superintendent of Canada’s military justice system. It also recognizes that we must continue to lead proactive military justice oversight, responsible development, and positive change.

Responsible development and positive change in our military justice system is once again evident during the reporting period. For example, Bill C-41, the Strengthening Military Justice in the Defence of Canada Act, was introduced in the House of Commons on 16 June 2010. Unfortunately, it did not proceed because Parliament was dissolved on 26 March 2011. This Bill would have continued the process of ongoing improvements to the military justice system. Bill C-41 is described in greater detail in Chapter IV of this report.

The success of the CAF depends a great deal on the effectiveness of the military justice system. The Office of the JAG, as Canada’s experts on military justice and military law, remains constantly committed to supporting the CAF and the DND in achieving their goals and mission success.

With a renewed focus on the work of the Office of the JAG, this annual report is presented in a new format that I hope you will find helpful and informative.

FIAT JUSTITIA!

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