The Department of Defense prepares for the Victims’ Bill of Rights-two years after the law passed

The Ministry of National Defense is about to conduct a long-term commitment investigation of survivors of sexual assault and misconduct among serving and retired military personnel-six months later, Defense Secretary Harjit Sajjan stated that obtaining their feedback is important for the military The vital rights of the victims enshrined as the Holy Spirit are incorporated into Canadian military law.

Internal department documents obtained by CBC News show that a version of the investigation will be published on the Defense Wide Area Network (DWAN) (the Department of Defense internal computer network used for training) and will focus on collecting those who have experienced sexual assault and misconduct.

Other versions will be made available to the public through the “Serving Victims and Survivors of Crime” page on the DND website.

As the crisis of sexual misconduct has swept the military, critics have repeatedly pointed out that the Liberal government failed to fully enact the C-77 bill, which inserted the victim’s bill of rights into the armed forces’ separate judicial system.

Separation and inequality

Nearly two years after the Senate passed the bill, the law has not yet entered into force because new regulations have not yet been drafted.

For a long time, military victims of crime have been denied the same rights as civilians, including the right to know the status of complaints or accusations, because they are subject to a separate judicial system. This is a problem that C-77 should correct.

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Many critics say that the delay in drafting legislation to support legislation is unreasonable, especially after many sexual assault survivors have recently told a congressional committee about the heartbreaking stories of the military justice system’s indifference.

In November last year, Sajjan told the House of Commons committee that the department needed the help of victims and survivors to move forward.

The minister said on November 2, 2020: “I hope these regulations can be completed almost immediately, but we also promise to consult with the victims in order to formulate the regulations appropriately.”

‘Take no action’

A critic of Michel Drapeau, a retired colonel, said that since 2015, military justice reform has been fully carried out without consultations and no new regulations, which is shocking.

“Failing to act in accordance with this important piece of legislation gives the impression that the Air Force in general, and the military justice system in particular, is not concerned with fulfilling the will of Parliament in a meaningful way, nor is it concerned with ensuring that key improvements are achieved. Implementation. “This is to make CAF members better. “Military legal expert Drapeau said that he has been pushing for the inclusion of the victim’s bill of rights into national defense law for ten years.

Although they were promised import opportunities when C-77 was drafted, the victims quickly received limited opportunities, telling their stories before the Senate committee shortly before the bill became law.

In support of Sajjan’s public comments last fall, DND argued that it had consulted with the Military’s Sexual Misconduct Response Center (SMRC), its external advisory committee, the Justice Department’s Policy Center, and the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Crime Victims.

However, DND admitted in a statement last November that it has plans to finally launch an online investigation.

De Labo said that there are dozens of military lawyers on the National Defense Force’s salary scale. “This shouldn’t be a difficult task for the attorney general’s office to formulate supporting regulations.”

Draper said procrastination is an insult to victims of crime and military misconduct. He added that this also violates an important democratic principle: Parliament speaks by enacting legislation.

He said: “However, the delay of nearly two years is still shocking, and the result is that the will of the Parliament has played the second largest role.” “This is why [Office of the Judge Advocate General] Should no longer be responsible for the supervision of the military justice system. “

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