# 2015-206 - Procedural Fairness

Procedural Fairness

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–10–29

The grievor, a Military Policeman (MP) was found guilty by a Court Martial with respect to three incidents involving a firearm. His MP credentials were suspended and a Military Police Credentials Review Board (MPCRB) commenced. As a result of procedural fairness and administrative issues, the MPCRB was quashed and a second one began. However, the second MPCRB was also stood down as a result of the appearance of bias. A third MPCRB sat, and made recommendations to the Canadian Forces Provost Marshall (CFPM). The grievor alleged that the MPCRB process was unfair, and that he received biased treatment from senior officers in the process, including the CFPM. He requested that those members be held accountable for their actions, that the MPCRB process be amended, that the third MPCRB be ceased, and that his MP credentials be reinstated.

The Chief of Staff to the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, acting as Initial Authority (IA) stated that due to unintended administrative errors and procedural fairness concerns, the first two MPCRBs were stopped. He did not however address the grievor's allegations of bias treatment because he had submitted no evidence to support these allegations. The IA also reviewed various issues within the MPCRB process and found that amendments were not necessary. He pointed out that, in accordance with Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Armed Forces article 22.04, if a breach of the Military Police Professional Code of Conduct occurs which warrants review, the matter shall be referred to the Chairperson of an MPCRB. Given that the grievor was found guilty by a Court Martial, the grievor was subject to a review by the MPCRB.

The Committee found that there was no choice but to refer the grievor's case to a MPCRB given the guilty verdict by the Court Martial, which was in accordance with relevant policy. In addition, the Committee agreed that the grievor had provided no evidence of bias with respect to senior officers, and had not shown that any amendments to the process were required.

The Committee noted that a MPCRB process is much like any other administrative review process found within the CAF: simple, fair, transparent, well explained in policy documents, and common. However, the Committee noted its concern with the unreasonable and lengthy five-year delay concerning the grievor's case. While some of the delay was due to the grievor, he was not responsible for much of it, and it was avoidable by the CAF. The Committee pointed out that the delay has also left a CAF member, a MP whose credentials were suspended, in a state of uncertainty, awaiting a resolution.

The Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.

FA Decision Summary

The CDS agreed with the Committee's recommendation that the grievance be denied. The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings, but one. The CDS did not completely agree with the Committee's finding with respect to the unreasonableness of the delay in conducting the third Military Police Credentials Review Board (MPCRB). While he concurred that the delay was long and that it could have been avoided if the administrative process had been strictly adhered to with no breaches in procedural fairness, the CDS found that these errors, as well as the grievor's granted extensions during the various phases of the complaint process, have contributed equally to the unfortunate delay in reaching the decision to hold the third MPCRB. The CDS found no evidence that the grievance was held in abeyance during the MPCRB process. The CDS directed that the CFPM inform all members of the military police that the reasonableness of the recommendations and decision rendered as a result of an MPCRB fall within the "control and administration of the CAF" and is, therefore, a grievable matter.

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