# 2014-201 - Forfeiture of Decorations and Medals, Forfeiture of Honours, Honorable Service

Forfeiture of Decorations and Medals, Forfeiture of Honours, Honorable Service

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–01–13

The grievor, a member with approximately 27 years of service and who had been awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) and the First Clasp to the CD, was convicted by a civilian court of a serious offence and sentenced to 90 days in jail (intermittent) and three years of probation. He was released under item 2(a) of the table to article 15.01 of the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces (QR&O). Pursuant to QR&O 18.27 - Forfeiture and Restoration of Decorations and Medals Other Than Those Awarded for Gallantry and War Medals, the Director Honours and Recognition (DH&R) recommended to the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) that the grievor's CD and First Clap be forfeited. The CDS agreed and directed their forfeiture.

There is no Initial Authority decision because the direction for forfeiture was given by the CDS.

The Committee had to determine whether the grievor's CD and First Clasp ought to have been forfeited.

The Committee noted that QR&O 18.27(2) provides that, upon conviction by a civil authority of a serious offence, medals and decorations may be forfeited. The Committee expressed its concern with the DH&R's recommendation which indicated that any release based on a civilian sentence that included imprisonment would generate an automatic recommendation for forfeiture; QR&O 18.27 makes no such provision. The Committee found that the DH&R should have prepared a proper and detailed assessment of the grievor's particulars before making any recommendation. Accordingly, the Committee conducted its own and new analysis.

Although directed to the awarding of medals rather than their forfeiture, the Committee considered that the principles contained in CANFORGEN 184/14 – Honourable Service, should be applied. Unlike campaign medals, the qualifying period for the CD is 12 years and for the First Clasp an additional 10 years. Accordingly, the notion of good conduct / honourable service must be extended over the entire CD and First Clasp qualifying periods.

The Committee noted that the period over which the grievor committed the offence (10 plus years), and for which he was convicted, severely compromised the 10-year qualifying period for the First Clasp to the CD. However, without evidence to confirm just what the “plus” period was and the five-year “buffer” between the end of the CD qualifying period and the earliest date of the offence, the Committee was of the opinion that the grievor had to be given the benefit of the doubt and that it would be unreasonable to stretch the notion of the grievor's “not-good” conduct to his first 12 years of service. Accordingly, the Committee found that the forfeiture of the grievor's First Clasp was appropriate, but that forfeiture of the CD itself was not justified or reasonable.

The Committee recommended that the grievor's CD be restored to him but that the forfeiture of the First Clasp should remain.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2015–10–09

The CDS disagreed with the Committee's finding that the grievor should be given the benefit of the doubt for his Canadian Forces Decoration since it could not be proven that the grievor engaged in child pornography during his first twelve years of service. The CDS was also satisfied that a proper and detailed assessment of the circumstances surrounding the grievor's crime was carried out by the courts, resulting in a verdict against him. Finally, the CDS was of the view that in QR&O 18.27, the applicable criterion to be considered for medal forfeiture is whether the CAF member has been convicted by a civil authority of any serious offence, not if this member has honourable service or not: the issue of honourable service in the context of CANFORGEN 184/14 is not applicable in this case.

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