Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 08, 2012 13:03 ET

Minister MacKay Releases Results of the Second Independent Review of Amendments to the National Defence Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 8, 2012) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today tabled in Parliament the report on the second independent review of the amendments to the National Defence Act made in 1998 by Bill C-25. The Minister also tabled his comments on the report.

"On behalf of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces, I would like to thank former Chief Justice LeSage for his report," said Minister MacKay. "This ongoing independent review process ensures the military justice system remains fair and continues to keep pace with developments in the law while continuing to meet the unique needs of the Canadian Forces in promoting operational effectiveness."

The report, written by the Honourable Patrick J. LeSage, former Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court, makes 55 recommendations. Nearly two-thirds of the recommendations deal with the military justice system and former Chief Justice LeSage notes in his report that the "military justice system is sound but some modifications will assist in ensuring its continued strength and viability." The remainder of the recommendations concern the Canadian Forces Military Police Group, the Military Police Complaints Commission, and the Canadian Forces grievance process.

The Government accepts the large majority of the recommendations made in the LeSage Report. As a result, Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces officials are already actively engaged in implementing those recommendations as well as conducting further study on many of the recommendations that require additional consideration.

Former Chief Justice LeSage was appointed by Minister MacKay in March 2011 to conduct the second independent review of the amendments to the National Defence Act made by Statutes of Canada 1998, c.35 ("Bill C-25"), as well as a review of Statutes of Canada 2008, c.29 ("Bill C-60"). This review specifically involved consideration of the operation of aspects of the military justice system, the military police complaints process and the Canadian Forces grievance process. It follows up on the work of two of Canada's most eminent jurists, former Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada Brian Dickson and Antonio Lamer.

For more information on the Second Independent Review of the National Defence Act, click here: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4252

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