Department of National Defence - Reports on Plans and Priorities 2013-14

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Chief Military Judge

The Office of the Chief Military Judge (CMJ) is an independent, special entity, Level 1 (L1) organization of the Department of National Defence (DND) established in 1997. This Office is not part of the chain of command for reasons of judicial independence. Its personnel include military judges, the Court Martial Administrator and the Deputy Court Martial Administrator, military and civilian court-clerk reporters and technical, financial, human resource and administrative support. The CMJ is appointed by the Governor in Council and is designated as an officer having the power and jurisdiction of an officer commanding a command.

The role of the Office of the CMJ is to fulfill its statutory and regulatory obligations, which are:

  • To provide military judges to preside at courts martial and perform other judicial duties under the National Defence Act;
  • Administer the convening of courts martial, the appointment of panel members of General Courts Martial, and the provision of court reporting services and transcription of the proceedings of courts martial and other judicial hearings; and
  • Military judges may, with the concurrence of the CMJ, be appointed as a board of inquiry.

The Court Martial Administrator, who acts under the general supervision of the CMJ, convenes courts martial in respect of charges that have been preferred by the Director of Military Prosecutions. In the case of General Courts Martial, the Court Martial Administrator appoints their members. The Court Martial Administrator issues summonses to witnesses and manages the L1 organization.

Military judges speak to a number of internal and external audiences, including venues such as lectures delivered to universities and participation in the Gale Cup Moot competition. All military judges are active members of the Canadian Bar Association Judges' Forum and the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2010-11, the military judges participated in National Judicial Institute courses, the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges and the Canadian Bar Association Judge's Forum.

The priorities for FY 2013-14 are:

  • to staff the Senior Legal Researcher position in support of military judiciary. The researcher will provide services to the four military judges who preside at Courts Martial and other judicial proceedings. The military judges have very specific requirements in order to perform their duties as they are a portable court. The Legal Researcher and the four military judges are, and must remain, independent and isolated from the executive, chain of command and the Department in order to ensure their impartiality and transparency;
  • to continue to review recruitment and training of court reporter trainees by making the training concise and relevant through the use of new and improved technology;
  • to continue placement of court martial decisions on the Internet, and implement a mechanism to incorporate court martial decisions in Canadian legal databases; and
  • to continue improved and effective outreach by the integration of the judiciary and the court martial administrator with their counterparts as well as within the Canadian Armed Forces.

Financial Resources

($000's) by FY Forecast
Spending
2012-13
Planned
Spending
2013-14
Planned
Spending
2014-15
Planned
Spending
2015-16
Vote 1 – Salary and Personnel 436 664 665 665
Vote 1 – Operating and Maintenance 850 645 654 664
Sub-total Vote 1
Vote 5 - Capital
Grand Total
Corporate Account
Vote 1 – Crown Liabilities
Grand Total 1286 1308 1319 1329

Source: Office of the Chief Military Judge and Assistant Deputy Minister (Finance and Corporate Services) Group

Human Resources

Forecast
2012-13
Planned
2013-14
Planned
2014-15
Planned
2015-16
Regular Force Structure 12 12 12 12
Civilian FTEs 9 9 9 9
Primary Reserve Strength (Class A)
Primary Reserve Strength (Class B)
Primary Reserve Strength (Class C)
Onsite Professional Services Contractors
TOTAL 21 21 21 21

Source: Office of the Chief Military Judgeand Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources) Group