Why are Canadian Police Chiefs Refusing to Accept Military Sexual Assault Cases?

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Sexual Assault, Canadian Military, Military Sexual Assault Cases, Canadian Police Chiefs


Imagine that police forces across Canada got to pick and choose which criminal offences they would be willing to investigate. This would seem unconscionable. And yet, when it comes to alleged sexual assaults by members of the Canadian military, some police chiefs in Canada apparently believe they do have that choice.

Last November, Minister of Defence Anita Anand accepted the recommendation of former Supreme Court of Canada justice Louise Arbour to temporarily remove shared jurisdiction over sexual offences from Canada’s military justice system. This week, as part of her final report reviewing the problems of sexualized violence in the Canadian military, Ms. Arbour recommended that this removal of jurisdiction be permanent. Instead of improving efficiency, morale and discipline, the 20-plus years during which the military’s justice system has been handling some sexual offences on its own have only made things worse.