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Message from the CF Provost Marshal regarding the transfer of jurisdiction for sexual assault and other criminal offences of a sexual ...

OceanBonfire

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To Members of the Defence Team,

I am writing to you today regarding the transfer of jurisdiction for sexual assault and other criminal offences of a sexual nature under the Criminal Code to civilian police agencies as recommended by Madame Louise Arbour in her interim recommendation.

As this directly affects some of you and could affect anyone in the future, I want to assure you that the Military Police (MP) is working diligently towards the implementation of this recommendation in a victim-centered and trauma-informed manner.

I am aware that the announcement of this process may have evoked emotions and raised many questions, particularly for those involved in cases that had been reported to the MP. While we have already reached out to affected persons directly, I would now like to provide a brief update to the entire Defence Team and offer additional information about the process.

The transfer and referral of cases to civilian police services across the country is currently underway. Putting a comprehensive process in place across Canada will take time but some cases have already been transferred and new cases are being referred in some jurisdictions. Every case is unique and must be assessed individually to preserve the interests of the affected persons, as well as those of justice.

Not all files can be transferred. For example, investigations that are near completion will not be transferred to a civilian police service. This approach is consistent with the parameters outlined in Madame Arbour’s interim recommendation.

Achieving Madame Arbour’s interim recommendation to transfer investigations to the civilian justice system is our central focus. As we progress towards this end, we consider the best interest of victims when determining the investigating agency. For example, we know that some agencies are not currently postured to readily carry on some of those cases while some victims may prefer to continue with an ongoing MP investigation. MP investigators are ready to have these conversations openly and will encourage victims to seek legal advice or support from the Sexual Misconduct Response Center (SMRC). In the end, the goal is to facilitate a transition that is as smooth as possible, while ensuring that affected persons are supported throughout the process.

Moving forward, Defence Team members can report incidents of sexual assault or other criminal offences of a sexual nature directly to civilian police. If you are not certain to which civilian police service you should direct your complaint, you can always contact your local MP Detachment or the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) who will ensure that the appropriate civilian police service is engaged. A complaint can also be made directly to the MP or the CFNIS. Although, unless the victim has requested otherwise, this complaint will normally be referred to the civilian police of jurisdiction.

Throughout the period of transfer or referral to a civilian police service, we will continue to provide affected persons with the support they need and update them on their cases, as information becomes available.

If you are involved in a case that has been reported to the MP and would like further information about this process and how it may impact you, we encourage you to contact your designated investigator or victim services coordinator.

We recognize that this can be a difficult matter. Should you or someone you know require support, a list of additional support services can be found below.

Sincerely,


Brigadier-General Simon Trudeau,

Canadian Forces Provost Marshal

 

daftandbarmy

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If anyone out there thought that the judicial process for these files was inconsistent and delayed before we transferred them, just wait until you see what happens when they're handed over to dozens of different city jurisdictions to manage for us.

Municipalities make the CAF look like greased lightening.

To bad the RCMP couldn't have taken them all on. At least you'd have one boss to answer for the files who wasn't accountable to a bunch of city counsellors who, more often than not, appear to be bat shit crazy.
 

PuckChaser

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But at least now the CAF doesn't need to pay a JAG to represent you. Cpl living in NCR? Go bankrupt to defend yourself.
 

Furniture

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But at least now the CAF doesn't need to pay a JAG to represent you. Cpl living in NCR? Go bankrupt to defend yourself.
That was something I noticed was mentioned by someone else as well. It's looks good for the CAF, but adds yet another layer of crap to serving...

If you've never had to pay for a lawyer civie side, you have no idea how punishing the legal system is for average people. Just being charged is enough to throw most people into financial distress by the time the lawyers get their $10K+ to take things to trial.

How many people will now have to plead guilty to a lesser charge just because they can't afford to fight in court, but make too much for a public defender? More convictions might look good for the CAF, but when word gets out how will this impact morale, and retention?
 

Humphrey Bogart

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That was something I noticed was mentioned by someone else as well. It's looks good for the CAF, but adds yet another layer of crap to serving...

If you've never had to pay for a lawyer civie side, you have no idea how punishing the legal system is for average people. Just being charged is enough to throw most people into financial distress by the time the lawyers get their $10K+ to take things to trial.

How many people will now have to plead guilty to a lesser charge just because they can't afford to fight in court, but make too much for a public defender? More convictions might look good for the CAF, but when word gets out how will this impact morale, and retention?
10k is pretty light for a criminal charge, that's before the trial happens 😉
 

GR66

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A civilian charged with a criminal offense doesn't get the benefit of their employer paying for their lawyers. For an organization tainted by the public perception that it has a culture of covering up and in some cases protecting the perpetrators of sexual misconduct within its leadership, does giving accused members a paid legal defence (a benefit not available to the general public) reinforce that perception?
 

Humphrey Bogart

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A civilian charged with a criminal offense doesn't get the benefit of their employer paying for their lawyers. For an organization tainted by the public perception that it has a culture of covering up and in some cases protecting the perpetrators of sexual misconduct within its leadership, does giving accused members a paid legal defence (a benefit not available to the general public) reinforce that perception?
Conditions aren't the same. The Military is really in to witch hunts. Civilian companies don't have time for that because it's mostly a massive waste of money and a tremendous time suck LOL.

Doesn't help that everyone in the CAF is now confused about what exactly is a criminal act and what is just plain old interpersonal conflict.

Just a few more months, the margaritas are gonna taste so gooooood!!!!
 

daftandbarmy

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Conditions aren't the same. The Military is really in to witch hunts. Civilian companies don't have time for that because it's mostly a massive waste of money and a tremendous time suck LOL.

Doesn't help that everyone in the CAF is now confused about what exactly is a criminal act and what is just plain old interpersonal conflict.

Just a few more months, the margaritas are gonna taste so gooooood!!!!

You're just happy that the rail strike was over in a heartbeat.... :)
 

KevinB

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Conditions aren't the same. The Military is really in to witch hunts. Civilian companies don't have time for that because it's mostly a massive waste of money and a tremendous time suck LOL.
Well Civpol taking over removes that aspect.
One can get a public defender - which is basically like a JAG anyway…


Doesn't help that everyone in the CAF is now confused about what exactly is a criminal act and what is just plain old interpersonal conflict.

Just a few more months, the margaritas are gonna taste so gooooood!!!!
Again with CIV POL running the investigation as well, only actual criminal complaints will move forward to charges.
 

Booter

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Well Civpol taking over removes that aspect.
One can get a public defender - which is basically like a JAG anyway…



Again with CIV POL running the investigation as well, only actual criminal complaints will move forward to charges.
Which will be perfect- next year they can switch their targets back to civi police for not taking the reports seriously
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Well Civpol taking over removes that aspect.
One can get a public defender - which is basically like a JAG anyway…



Again with CIV POL running the investigation as well, only actual criminal complaints will move forward to charges.
I take the opposite approach, I think it will just add more confusion and anger LOL.

Mostly because CAF members themselves won't understand the differences between something requiring intervention of the criminal justice system and something requiring administrative action.
 

GR66

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I take the opposite approach, I think it will just add more confusion and anger LOL.

Mostly because CAF members themselves won't understand the differences between something requiring intervention of the criminal justice system and something requiring administrative action.
I'm not sure I understand this sense of CAF exceptionalism. Do you think that anybody who isn't wearing a uniform doesn't face the possibility of administrative action from their employer for their workplace behaviour? Granted, the military may exert a greater degree of administrative control over its members than most professions, but still the general understanding is that if you break one of your employer's rules/regulations then you face administrative action. If you break a law you face the criminal justice system (just like everyone else in the country).

The problem is where you have Military Police where the line between Administrative and Criminal enforcement are blurred.
 

SupersonicMax

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I take the opposite approach, I think it will just add more confusion and anger LOL.

Mostly because CAF members themselves won't understand the differences between something requiring intervention of the criminal justice system and something requiring administrative action.
To be fair, there isn’t much difference between administrative issues and criminal issues in the CAF. We are ordered, through policy, to comply with our administrative policies and we are required, by law, to comply with lawful command.

“Disobedience of lawful command

83 Every person who disobeys a lawful command of a superior officer is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for life or to less punishment.”

On the civilian side, blowing off your employer may result in your termination. In the CAF, it may land you in prison.
 

brihard

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I'm not sure I understand this sense of CAF exceptionalism. Do you think that anybody who isn't wearing a uniform doesn't face the possibility of administrative action from their employer for their workplace behaviour? Granted, the military may exert a greater degree of administrative control over its members than most professions, but still the general understanding is that if you break one of your employer's rules/regulations then you face administrative action. If you break a law you face the criminal justice system (just like everyone else in the country).

The problem is where you have Military Police where the line between Administrative and Criminal enforcement are blurred.
I’d say the threshold for being administratively fired for cause civvie side is probably much lower than in CAF, and it’ll happen a lot quicker. It’s definitely not a unique to CAF thing.

As for the provision of defence counsel- yeah, this is pretty unique to CAF. Anyone else is on their own.
 

FJAG

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Perhaps it's better to look at this in three layers: administrative, disciplinary and criminal.

Administrative is the same for both civilian and military employment standards although there might be some difference in when they kick in and how they are handled. In essence, there are no judicial processes attached to administrative actions; just a concept of procedural fairness.

Criminal is again the same for civilians and military in that an infraction can lead to a civilian judicial process for both civilian and service members with up to penal consequences.

Disciplinary is purely a military concept. It arises out of the Code of Service discipline, has a military judicial process that only applies to military members (except in very narrow circumstances where a civilian might be subject to it) and can result in penal consequences. The military incorporates ordinary Canadian and Foreign national criminal law through incorporation by reference under s 130 and 132 of the NDA. One should note that there are some purely military offences, like stealing under s 114, that roughly equate to civilian criminal offences.

There are many instances, other than sexual offences, where the military could cede jurisdiction to the civilian criminal process, take fraud for example, but where the military choses to use its disciplinary system instead. There is a long standing convention as between military police/prosecutors and civilian police/prosecutors as to how they divide jurisdiction between them.

To take this issue further; a few decades ago, the military did not have jurisdiction to try sexual assault cases committed in Canada at all. It was a change in legislation to what is now s 70 of the NDA that gave the military that jurisdiction which in large measure was done so that the military could better deal with sexual assault within its ranks. This happened in 1998 sometime after Canada decided to greatly broaden the role of women in the CAF and in conjunction with changes arising out of the Dickson Report and Somalia inquiry.

We've gone full circle and, strangely enough, for the same reason, to better deal with sexual assaults in the military. “Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.”

As for the provision of defence counsel- yeah, this is pretty unique to CAF. Anyone else is on their own.
There is a civilian legal aid system that helps those who have limited financial means.

🍻
 

lenaitch

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To bad the RCMP couldn't have taken them all on. At least you'd have one boss to answer for the files who wasn't accountable to a bunch of city counsellors who, more often than not, appear to be bat shit crazy.
Except where they aren't the police service of jurisdiction and the nearest detachment may be a fair distance away. I wasn't aware that municipal politicians had a say in investigative response.
 

dapaterson

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There is a civilian legal aid system that helps those who have limited financial means.

🍻

In Ontario, a Reg F Pte(1) is ineligible for Legal Aid unless they have a minimum of 3 household members; for a Pte(2), they need a household of 5+.
There won't be a whole lot of CAF takeup of Legal Aid (in Ontario at least).

 

brihard

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In Ontario, a Reg F Pte(1) is ineligible for Legal Aid unless they have a minimum of 3 household members; for a Pte(2), they need a household of 5+.
There won't be a whole lot of CAF takeup of Legal Aid (in Ontario at least).

Beat me to it. Legal aid isn’t gonna be relevant to a discussion of defence counsel for military members in almost any case. You need to be, at a minimum, quite destitute to receive that help.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Beat me to it. Legal aid isn’t gonna be relevant to a discussion of defence counsel for military members in almost any case. You need to be, at a minimum, quite destitute to receive that help.
In Ontario even guys in jail haven't been getting much help, if any for a while now. Not poor enough bill-wise....

Used to be legal aid lawyers were like cockroaches scurrying around everywhere.
 

brihard

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In Ontario even guys in jail haven't been getting much help, if any for a while now. Not poor enough bill-wise....

Used to be legal aid lawyers were like cockroaches scurrying around everywhere.
Ford cut legal aid funding in Ontario by 30%, which to me is unconsciounable. Part of the purported fairness of our system is the right to counsel and to make the case for your defense. Against the dizzying array of investigative techniques and procedures we can bring to bear, it’s a system that needs expert help to navigate.

Those charged with offences are, very disproportionately, those who are already poor, already in positions of vulnerability, and already have prior contacts with the justice system, which does stack the odds against them.

I’ve never charged someone I wasn’t very convinced ‘did the thing’. I’ve worked very hard on some files to take something sketchy and ambiguous, and to work to that degree of confidence. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never had charges fall through because I was factually wrong about whether the person ‘did the thing’. But I have made errors of law, or other parts of ‘the system’ have erred or failed on my files in ways that prejudice the rights of the accused. Without attentive counsel, these things can be missed, and sometimes it really matters.

I don’t have answers for how to make the system work better or be more fair… But strangling access to defence counsel for the poor ain’t it.
 
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