Minister of National Defence Statement on the Canadian Forces Judge Advocate General

Statement / December 20, 2012 / Project number: NR 12.265

OTTAWA—The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement:

“On October 29, 2012, I approved the Chief of the Defence Staff’s recommendation to establish the position of the Canadian Forces Judge Advocate General at the rank of Major-General from that of Brigadier-General and to promote the Judge Advocate General, Major-General Blaise Cathcart, to that rank.

The elevation of the Judge Advocate General’s rank is a significant recognition of the importance of the Judge Advocate General’s position in performing two unique roles set out in the National Defence Act: legal advisor in matters relating to military law and superintendent of the administration of military justice in the Canadian Forces. In the complex global environment within which the Canadian Forces operate, security challenges are more diverse and complex than ever before. In these increasingly dynamic circumstances, mission success remains inseparable from adherence to the rule of law. Against this backdrop, the role of the uniformed legal advisor as a source of independent and objective legal advice, takes on growing importance. The Judge Advocate General is a key strategic advisor in the decision-making process.   

The rank of Major-General is appropriate in keeping with the practice of a number of our allies. Most importantly, it will enhance the Judge Advocate General’s independence and his ability, and that of the Office of the Judge Advocate General, to provide oversight of the military justice system and to efficiently and effectively deliver timely, independent, operationally focused and solution oriented legal services to the Government of Canada, the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence.

At this time, I would also like to extend my congratulations to Major-General Blaise Cathcart, the Judge Advocate General, on his promotion.”


For more information about the Canadian Forces Judge Advocate General branch, please visit

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