Friday, June 3, 2011

UPDATED: Court martial process deemed partly unconstitutional

The Montreal Gazette reports that parts of the Canadian military court process were deemed unconstitutional today by the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada.  The court questioned the independence of judges under the current system.  The court ruled the frequency of tenure renewal for military judges, who are appointed on five-year terms, could affect the appearance of impartiality during military court procedures. It struck down the renewable five-year terms and the process for reappointment.  Justice Gilles Letourneau said the military judges must appear "constitutionally independent of the chain of command and the Executive."  The court ruled its "declaration of invalidity" will be suspended for six months to allow government to make the necessary changes to legislation to move the decision forward. 

Here is a link to the decision.