Victims’ Rights and the Summary Hearing Process will soon Come into Force

June 14, 2022 - Defence Stories

The members of our Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) make great sacrifices every day in service to our country. They deserve a military justice system that is fair, efficient, and one that is aligned with Canada’s civilian criminal justice system – one that endeavours to make sure victims supported and heard.

An Act to Amend the National Defence Act and to Make Related Consequential Amendments to Other Acts (also known as Bill C-77), is federal legislation to modernize the Military Justice System (MJS). Certain provisions of Bill C-77 came into force immediately upon royal assent, and the remaining provisions will come into force on June 20, 2022. These changes will ensure that the MJS remains an effective tool in promoting discipline, efficiency and morale in the CAF, while continuing to evolve with Canadian law.

As part of this coming into force on June 20, there will be important updates to Queen’s Regulations and Orders, Defence Administrative Orders and Directives (DAOD), and other policies, training and forms.

The legislative, policy, and training changes include:

Implementing the remaining provisions of Bill C-77 requires both the update of existing policies and the development of new policies. The new policies to take effect on June 20 include:

Training and education has been developed and in some cases is already underway to ensure the CAF is ready for these upcoming changes to the MJS. This training includes:

A CAF-wide brief is forthcoming to all members from your chain of command about the implementation of the Victims’ Rights and Summary Hearing provisions of Bill C-77. The chain of command is encouraged to contact their unit legal advisor if legal advice is needed regarding changes to the MJS.

The MJS enhancements coming into force on June 20 will demonstrate the commitment of DND/CAF to the continued support of victims of service offences, and to evolving the MJS to ensure it remains fair, just, and in harmony with Canadian law while respecting the unique disciplinary requirements of the CAF. The enhancements to the MJS will further align military justice with Canadian values and promote a culture of leadership, respect, and honour within DND/CAF.

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