Victims Rights in the Military Justice System Act

An Act to amend the National Defence Act and the Criminal Code

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.

Sponsor

Jason Kenney  Conservative

Status

Second reading (House), as of June 15, 2015
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends provisions of the National Defence Act governing the military justice system.

It adds a new Division entitled “Declaration of Victims Rights”, to the Code of Service Discipline, that specifies that victims of service offences have rights to information, protection, participation and restitution in respect of service offences. It adds or amends several definitions, including “victim” and “military justice system participant”, and specifies who may act on a victim’s behalf for the purposes of that Division.

It amends Part III of that Act to, among other things,

(a) specify the purpose of the Code of Service Discipline and the fundamental purpose of imposing sanctions at summary trials;

(b) protect the privacy and security of victims and witnesses in proceedings involving certain sexual offences;

(c) specify factors that a military judge is to take into consideration when determining whether to make an exclusion order;

(d) make testimonial aids more accessible to vulnerable witnesses;

(e) allow witnesses to testify using a pseudonym in appropriate cases;

(f) make publication bans for victims under the age of 18 mandatory on application;

(g) require courts martial to inquire of the prosecutor if reasonable steps have been taken to inform the victims of any plea agreement entered into by the accused and the prosecutor in certain circumstances;

(h) provide that the acknowledgment of the harm done to the victims and to the community is a sentencing objective;

(i) provide for different ways of presenting victim impact statements;

(j) allow for military impact statements and community impact statements to be considered for all service offences;

(k) provide for the creation, in regulations, of disciplinary infractions that can be tried by summary trial;

(l) provide for a scale of sanctions and principles applicable to sanctions in respect of disciplinary infractions;

(m) provide for a six-month limitation period in respect of summary trials; and

(n) provide superior commanders, commanding officers and delegated officers with jurisdiction to try a person charged with having committed a disciplinary infraction by summary trial if the person is at least one rank below the officer presiding at the summary trial.

The enactment also amends the Criminal Code to include military justice system participants in the class of persons against whom offences relating to intimidation of a justice system participant can be committed.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Victims Rights in the Military Justice System ActRoutine Proceedings

June 15th, 2015 / 3:10 p.m.
See context

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of National Defence

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-71, An Act to amend the National Defence Act and the Criminal Code.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)