CDS Message: Supreme Court of Canada decision – Stillman and Beaudry appeals

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Supreme Court of Canada decision - Stillman appeal / Décision de la Cour suprême du Canada - la décision sur le pourvoi Stillman

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Today, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in the Stillman appeal (also known as Beaudry).

Through these appeals, the Court examined the constitutionality of the section of the Code of Service Discipline that allows for the prosecution in the military justice system of persons alleged to have committed offences under military law which are punishable by five years of imprisonment or more.

The Court thoroughly considered the issues at play in these appeals, and I encourage all Canadian Armed Forces members to read the decision, which is available on the Court’s website.

Today’s ruling means that the prosecution of such offences in the military justice system can now resume. Through this decision, the Supreme Court has again recognized the critical role that the military justice system plays in assisting military commanders in maintaining the discipline, efficiency and morale of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Our military justice system is highly relevant to our operational effectiveness. The military justice system fosters discipline and accountability so our profession of arms delivers on the operations demanded of us. Our military justice system will continue to evolve to serve the interests of Canadians and our armed forces, and I know that all independent actors in the military justice system will continue to perform their duties with the highest degree of professionalism, fairness and respect for the rule of law.

General Jonathan Vance

Chief of the Defence Staff

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