Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Supreme Court of Canada grants leave to appeal CMAC decision

The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it grants Leave to Appeal in the following application for leave to appeal  in R v. J.G.A. Gagnon et al.


The two Respondents (Gagnon and Thibeault) were members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) charged with sexual assault in two separate cases. They were successful at trial. For Thibeault: see: Standing Court Martial 2015 CM 1001.  

The Crown appealed the verdicts.  However, the Respondents brought motions to quash and dismiss the appeals on the basis that s. 230.1 of the National Defence Act is inconsistent with the constitutional requirement of prosecutorial independence.  

In R. v. Gagnon 2015 CMAC 2, the Court Martial Appeal Court (CMAC) held that s. 230.1 is invalid. The declaration of invalidity was suspended for a six-month period ending on June 21, 2016. The respondents’ motions were dismissed, however, and the hearing of the appeals on the merits was adjourned to a date to be determined after the expiry of the period during which the effect of the declaration of invalidity was suspended.

On February 9, 2016 Her Majesty the Queen appealed that decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. On March 24, 2016 the Supreme Court granted leave to appeal the CMAC decision.

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