Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

May 20, 2011 12:01 ET

Second Independent Authority Appointed to Review Amendments to the National Defence Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 20, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, is pleased to announce the appointment of the Honourable Patrick J. LeSage to conduct the second mandated independent review of amendments to the National Defence Act.

"The Government is committed to ensuring our military justice system is one in which Canadians can have trust and confidence" said Minister MacKay. "The Honourable Patrick J. LeSage is a distinguished jurist who brings years of experience and insight to the conduct of this statutorily mandated review."

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 review will also consider the military police complaint process and the Canadian Forces grievance process.

The Honourable Patrick J. LeSage is a retired Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court. He began his distinguished career as a Crown Attorney in the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. During his 29 years on the bench, Chief Justice LeSage presided over some of Canada's most complex cases and was appointed in 2008 by the Attorney General of Ontario to conduct a review of large and complex criminal case procedures.

As the Second Independent Review Authority, the Honourable Patrick J. LeSage has complete access to Department of National Defence employees and Canadian Forces personnel, as well as the members and staff of the Canadian Forces Grievance Board, the Military Police Complaints Commission and the Department of National Defence/Canadian Forces Ombudsman.

The Honourable Patrick J. LeSage will be conducting an independent review of the amendments to the National Defence Act made by Statutes of Canada 1998, c.35 ("Bill C-25") and Statutes of Canada 2008, c.29 ("Bill C-60"). This review specifically involves 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 regarding the role of the Independent Review Authority for the National Defence Act click here http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?cat=00&id=3769.

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