Victims of Service Offences:
The Right to Restitution

A court martial that imposes a sentence on an offender or directs that the offender be discharged absolutely can order restitution for a victim’s losses or damages due to the commission of the service offence. 

For example the court can order restitution in respect of:

  • Damaged or lost property
  • Bodily injury or psychological harm
  • Reasonable costs for temporary housing, food, childcare and transportation due to moving out of the offender's household

The losses or damages must be readily ascertainable.

Restitution Orders in the Military Justice System
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Restitution Orders in the Military Justice System

Military Justice Process:

  1. Investigation
    • Collect documentation of losses
    • Submit a restitution request
  2. Post-charge/Pre-trial
    • Collect documentation of losses
    • Submit a restitution request
  3. Court martial proceedings
    • Collect documentation of losses
    • Submit a restitution request
  4. Sentencing
    • Restitution request presented to the military prosecutor
  5. After sentencing
    • Restitution Order made

Director of Military Prosecutions

Prosecutors ensure that submissions made at sentencing hearings include information regarding the impact of the offence on the victim.

How is the restitution order paid?

A court martial can order the offender to pay restitution directly to the victim. A court martial can order the offender to pay the restitution amount immediately, by a specified day in the order, or as part of a payment plan. A court martial can also order restitution to be paid to more than one victim and can assign priority for payment among the victims on the order.

If an offender fails to pay a restitution order by the day specified in the court martial order or if the offender does not comply with a payment plan, a victim can file the order in the civil court and use civil enforcement methods to collect the unpaid amount.

Provincial and territorial civilian justice services can also help victims recoup unpaid restitution orders. For more information on the province or territory of enforcement, a list of victims/survivors service providers can be found using the Victim Services Directory. The Directory, created by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues at the Department of Justice Canada, helps service providers, victims/survivors, and others to locate services across Canada.

Documenting financial losses

It is a good idea for victims to start documenting their financial losses as soon as possible after the offence. This will help make sure they are ready to report their losses if the offender is sentenced. Some of the documents that are helpful include:

  • Receipts for lost or damaged items
  • Invoices
  • Pay stubs that document lost wages
  • Absence forms from work that document lost wages
  • Bills for cost of repairs or replacements
  • Estimates for replacement items (for example, stolen or vandalized items that needed replacement or repair)
  • Any other documents that demonstrate financial loss due to the offence

Victims can use the form found at QR&O 112.582 (Statement on Restitution) to help document their financial losses.

For more information

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