Date of Award
This thesis examines how military members and veterans with Operational Stress Injuries are treated by Canadian justice systems. It suggests a correlation between mental injuries sustained on operations by military personnel and propensities for military and societal misconduct. By comparing civilian and military processes with American justice counterparts, a plan to improve the existing Canadian legal landscape is proposed. Using an analysis of the underlying philosophy and purpose of military justice, a problem solving diversionary court is recommended, along with legislative and policy amendments. The use of a consent-based "Treatment Standing Court Martial" would place military justice officials parallel to civilian justice alternative measures programs, and in a better position to break the cycle of recidivism among veterans by addressing root causes. Education to reduce stigma along with military-civilian partnerships are also advocated to enhance the detection of mental illness and to foster early treatment for military personnel and veterans. The overall goals of the work include: reducing recidivism, improving operational efficiency and taking care of military members, veterans and their families.
J Jason Samson, Changing Tactics: Rehabilitating Canadian Justice for Traumatized Veterans (LLM Thesis, Dalhousie University, 2012) [unpublished].