Office of the Chief Military Judge

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The Office of the Chief Military Judge (OCMJ) is an independent unit of the Canadian Forces established in 1997. Its personnel include military judges, the Court Martial Administrator and the Deputy Court Martial Administrator, military and civilian court reporters as well as legal (court administration), technical, financial, human resources and administrative support.


The role of the Office of the Chief Military Judge is to:

  • provide military judges to preside at courts martial and perform other judicial duties under the National Defence Act;
  • administer the convening of courts martial, the appointment of members of General Courts Martial, as well as the provision of court reporting services and transcription of the proceedings of courts martial and other judicial hearings; and
  • in the case of military judges, with the concurrence of the Chief Military Judge, be appointed as a board of inquiry.

In particular, the Court Martial Administrator who acts under the general supervision of the Chief Military Judge, convenes courts martial in respect of charges that have been preferred by the Director of Military Prosecutions. In the case of General Courts Martial that is composed of a military judge and a panel of five Canadian Forces members, the Court Martial Administrator appoints their members. The Court Martial Administrator performs many other prescribed statutory and regulatory duties, such as those referred to in subsection 165.19(1) of the National Defence Act and article 101.17 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces (QR&O).

The Court Martial Administrator is responsible for any matters dealing with court administration, including the preparation of a record for the Court Martial Appeal Court when an appeal is made to that Court. The services provided by the Court Martial Administrator are similar but not identical to the services provided by a registrar of a permanent civil court. In the end, the Court Martial Administrator manages the Office of the Chief Military Judge and supervise personnel, other than military judges, within that Office.

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