Support for Victims and Survivors of service offences within Canada’s military justice system
May 10, 2021 - Defence Stories
The military justice system can be unfamiliar, and intimidating to victims and survivors of service offences, some of whom may be public service employees. The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are pleased to announce the creation of a web page designed to offer victims, survivors and all other interested persons, ready access to information about the military justice system.
This web page serves as a central resource point, providing a consolidated source of accurate information about existing policies within DND/CAF to support victims and survivors, as well as highlighting various initiatives such as the upcoming Declaration of Victims’ Rights Online Survey.
Once fully implemented, the changes made to the Code of Service Discipline in An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, Bill C-77 (You are now leaving the Government of Canada website), will strengthen the military justice system. With the introduction of the Declaration of Victims Rights, victims of service offences will have the same rights as those available in the civilian criminal justice system under the Canadian Victim’s Bill of Rights: the rights to information, protection, participation, and restitution.
Although Canada’s military justice system shares many of the same underlying principles as the civilian criminal justice system and is subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it is a parallel but different system of justice. Due to the differences that exist within the military justice system, it is especially important that victims and survivors of service offences have ready access to information about the military justice system, their role within it, and the resources available to support them. The military justice system can be unfamiliar and intimidating to some, which is why it is important that information be easily available to all members of the Canadian Armed Forces and to the general public.
The military justice system will continue to evolve with the implementation of the remaining amendments introduced to the National Defence Act through Bill C-77, An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts.
While the regulations to implement the Declaration of Victims Rights are being developed, victims and survivors have access through the web page to a current and consolidated source of information on the supports available to victims and survivors, valuable links to resources and news on the latest developments.
For more information, visit Victims and Survivors of Service Offences.
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