The proposed Canadian Armed Forces primary reserve unit would hold a platoon of 40 part-time personnel, who would train and help serve the Northwest if needed. (Canadian Press Photo)

Supreme Court of Canada says military’s no-juries justice system constitutional

Court upholds the established system of military justice

The Supreme Court of Canada says military members accused of serious offences under military law do not have the constitutional right to a civilian jury trial.

In a 5-2 decision released Friday, the court upheld the established system of military justice after a military court of appeal threw it into question last year.

Several military members accused of serious criminal and other non-military offences had argued that they had a right to trials by jury, as guaranteed to Canadians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

They argued an exception to that right built into the Charter applied only to “pure” military offences, not ones that came from civilian law.

READ ALSO: $900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

But the court’s majority opinion found the section of military law that transforms serious civilian offences into military ones is constitutional.

The five members of the majority also said no additional military connection is needed beyond the fact the accused was a military member.

The Canadian Press

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