Director of Military Prosecutions

The Director of Military Prosecutions (DMP), is appointed under section 165.1 of the National Defence Act for a fixed term by the Minister of National Defence. The current DMP is Colonel Bruce MacGregor. The DMP is head of the Canadian Military Prosecution Service.

The Canadian Military Prosecution Service

The Canadian Military Prosecution Service (CMPS) is a special entity within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Its role is to review cases referred for court-martial, to decide which cases should proceed, and to prosecute those cases in the courtroom. It arose from the amendments to the National Defence Act that followed the 1997 Report of the Special Advisory Group on Military Justice and Military Police Investigative Services, led by the late Chief Justice Brian Dickson. That group recommended that the court-martial prosecution process be separated from the chain of command. The new service was stood up on 1 September 1999.

The Work of the CMPS

The CMPS mission is to handle cases referred for court martial in a fair, swift and accessible manner. Its motto is Ordo per Justitia - Discipline through Justice. The men and women of the CMPS are trained legal officers who review court-martial cases referred to the service. After reviewing the evidence they determine whether there is a reasonable prospect of conviction and whether it is in the public interest to proceed. If so, the case is preferred for court martial. The court-martial could take place anywhere that the Canadian Armed Forces operate: from a temporary shelter in Afghanistan to a military courtroom in Ottawa. In the event of an appeal from a decision at court martial, a CMPS officer represents the interests of the CAF before the Court Martial Appeal Court, a body of civilian judges drawn from the superior courts across Canada, and in conjunction with the Department of Justice, before the Supreme Court of Canada. CMPS personnel also provide ongoing legal advice to the CAF National Investigation Service on such matters as search warrants, appropriate charges and other legal requirements of investigations.

Structure

The CMPS is based in Ottawa, with regional offices in Victoria, Edmonton, Quebec City and Halifax, and with reserve members in several other locations across Canada. The Ottawa office handles such matters as administration, appeals, data collection and research as well as courts martial in Ontario. The CMPS maintains links with its civilian counter-parts in the federal prosecution service and the provincial services. This helps to ensure a prosecutions process in tune with current Canadian practices and policies, while remaining cognizant of the military's special requirements and circumstances. 

Information: Canadian Military Prosecution Service Coordinates

For further information concerning the role and work of the CMPS, you may write to:

Director of Military Prosecutions
National Defence Headquarters
Constitution Building
305 Rideau Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0K2