Victims and Survivors of Service Offences: Complaint

Right to File a Complaint

Victims who are of the opinion that any of their rights under the Declaration of Victims Rights (DVR) have been infringed or denied by an authority within the military justice system has the right to file a complaint.

How to file a complaint

Before filing a complaint, victims are strongly encouraged to first bring any concerns or issues to the attention of the appropriate authority in the military justice system.

A complaint must be made in writing and filed with the Director External Review (DER). A form for making a complaint, including details on how to submit the complaint once completed, may be found here: CAF Victim Complaint Form.

How complaints are dealt with

The DER administers complaints filed by victims in relation to possible infringements or denials of their rights under the DVR.

After the complaint is received, the DER must review the complaint or forward the complaint for review by:

  1. the Deputy Commander of the Canadian Forces Military Police Group;
  2. the Assistant Director of Military Prosecutions; or
  3. the Deputy Director of External Review.

How will the reviewer be selected?

The factors considered by the DER will include, but are not limited to:

  • The nature and severity of the alleged infringement or denial
  • The reviewing authority’s areas of responsibility
  • The victim’s rank
  • Whether there is any reason to believe that the authority is unable to conduct an impartial review or is in a conflict of interest
  • Any preference expressed by the victim regarding the authority conducting the review

What will be included in the review of the complaint?

  • Determination of whether any of the victim’s rights under the DVR were infringed or denied
  • The reviewer may make recommendations to remedy any infringement or denial

After the review is completed

Once the reviewing authority has completed their review, they will forward it to the DER, who will notify the victim in writing of the result and any recommendations.

Availability of a second review

If a victim is of the opinion that the result of the review or any recommendations do not address the complaint, they may file a request for a second review in writing or by email with the DER within 30 days of the notification of the result of the first review.


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Other matters

There are also a number of channels of assistance available to help victims and survivors of service offences address a complaint or concern about other matters related to actors in the military justice system.

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Canadian Military Prosecution Service Complaints

When an individual feels that a prosecutor with the Canadian Military Prosecution Service (CMPS) has not conducted themselves in accordance with CMPS policies or directives or that they have been treated unfairly by a procedure, practice or policy they can initiate a formal complaint for resolution.

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Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG)

Any complaint regarding the professional conduct of a legal officer, including the nature or quality of advice he/she has given, will be directed to the JAG, and the complaint reduced to writing.

Filing a conduct complaint about the MP

Anybody, whether they are a civilian or a member of the military and whether or not they were affected, may complain about the conduct of Military Police in the performance of policing duties or functions.

A conduct complaint may be made either orally (in person or by phone) or in writing. A complaint may be made to any member of the Military Police, the Chairperson of the Military Police Complaint Commission (MPCC), the Judge Advocate General or the Office of the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal.

Under the legislation, the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal is responsible for dealing with conduct complaints.

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