To provide the legal services prescribed at QR&O art. 101.20(2) to persons subject to the Code of Service Discipline charged or liable to be charged under that Code. Those services include:
Military defence lawyers only defend and the Directorate is set up outside the chain of command. In other words, the only person who instructs the defence lawyer is the client.
Our services are provided in the official language of the client's choice and in a manner that allows the client to clearly understand the disciplinary process. There are many points during the disciplinary process when clients must make certain choices and give instructions to their lawyer on how their defence should be conducted. Our objective as defence counsel is to ensure that these choices are informed choices.
Under current regulations you are entitled to full representation by a military defence lawyer once the charges are sent to a Referral Authority. Prepare a memorandum to your commanding officer requesting military defence counsel and it will be forwarded to our office. A lawyer will normally, be appointed to act on your behalf once the request and the Record of Disciplinary Proceedings, including election of language of trial have been received. The Director of Defence Counsel Services shall, always, endeavor to appoint counsel in a timely fashion so as not to compromise the right of an accused person to a full answer and defence.
"If you are the subject of an investigation or suspect, you are not, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, obliged to provide a statement to the police or other military authorities.
When you are suspected of having committed an offence, the military police should, according to law, offer you an opportunity to speak to counsel before proceeding with the interview. Your right to counsel is very important, and you should call the duty counsel or counsel of your choice before speaking to the military police."
You may be asked by the police to take a polygraph, commonly known as a "lie detector" test. Remember that you are not obliged to submit to this test, and that the results are not admissible in court to prove either your guilt or your innocence. However, the polygraph procedure includes interviews before and after the test itself. What you say to the examiner during these interviews may be used as evidence against you at the trial.
As a rule, Canadian Forces members charged with an offence under the Code of Service Discipline are entitled under QR&O 109.04 to a military lawyer to represent them, when a charge is forwarded to a Referral Authority for disposal by court martial. In exceptional circumstances, a lawyer may be appointed at an earlier time. The services of a defence lawyer are provided without cost to the Canadian Forces member.
For legal advice on your right to counsel on arrest
or interrogation by the police: 1-613-292-2137
For legal advice on summary trials and elections:
1-888-715-9636 or in Ottawa: 613-997-8985
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