News Release Article from  National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

The JAG Launches Comprehensive Review of Court Martial System

July 22, 2016 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Judge Advocate General (JAG), Major-General Blaise Cathcart, has launched a proactive comprehensive review of the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) court martial system.

Identified as one of the JAG’s initiatives in the coming year, the comprehensive review is outlined in the recently released 2015 - 2016 Annual Report of the Judge Advocate General and is to be completed by July 14, 2017.

The comprehensive review of the court martial system represents an integral means through which the JAG, as part of his mandate, can fulfill his responsibilities under the National Defence Act (NDA) for the superintendence and the conduct of regular reviews of the administration of military justice. The purpose of the review is to conduct a legal and legal policy analysis of the CAF’s court martial system, and develop and analyze options to enhance its effectiveness, efficiency, and legitimacy.

Over the course of the next year, the Office of the JAG team leading the review will engage in consultations with people from across Canada and internationally. These consultations will offer an opportunity for groups such as the Canadian public, foreign subject matter experts, other government departments, and members of the CAF, to engage with military justice issues and provide input into the review of the court martial system.


“This comprehensive review demonstrates the Canadian Armed Forces’ commitment to remaining a global leader in the proactive development of a fair and effective military justice system — one that evolves in harmony with contemporary Canadian law. Through consultations with people across Canada and internationally, our review team will be well-positioned to promote responsible development and positive change, so that the court martial system remains responsive to the needs of the Canadian Armed Forces today, and in the future.”

Major-General Blaise Cathcart, Q.C., Judge Advocate General

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