Procedure for Appointment of Court Martial Members

5203-3 (CMA)

7 November 2016

References : A. NDA s.165.19
B. QR&O s. 111.03 
C. Report of the Second Independent review Authority, by The Honourable Patrick J. LeSage, December 2011
D. QR&O s. 2.034
E. NDA  paras 168 (a) and (d)
F. NDA s. 167
G. NDA para 168 (e)
H. NDA para 168 (g)
I. QR&O sub-para 111.03 (3)(e)

1.         As per references A and B, the Court Martial Administrator (CMA) shall select, using random methodology, sufficient eligible officers and, where applicable, non-commissioned members capable of performing the duties of members and alternate members for the general court martial (GCM) in the language of trial chosen by the accused person.


2.         This policy sets out a transparent random selection process for the appointment of panel members that complies with reference B, and which incorporates the recommendations relevant to this process provided at reference C. 


3.         In March and September of each year, the CMA completes an Ad Hoc Report Request Form on the Director Human Resources Information Management / Human Resources Information Centre (DHRIM/DHRIC)   website to obtain a list of all eligible Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members (including members of the four sub-components of the Reserve Force as described at reference D) capable of performing the duties of members and alternate members in prevision of upcoming GCMs.  In compliance with references E through I, the request contains the following details: “All Reg F pers and all Res F pers.  Targeted population: all officers in the ranks of Lt(N)/Capt and above and all non-commissioned members (NCMs) of the ranks of PO1/WO and above.  Exclusions: Legal Officers and Military Police Officers (not in MOSID 00204,  00175, 00214), Military Police (not in MOSID 00019, 00161) and members who have been convicted of an offence under the Code of Service Discipline”, unless a clemency measure is in effect in respect of that offence.

4.         Once the ad hoc report is received, its content is separated into three lists: one list contains the names of CAF members who hold the rank of Capt(N)/Col and above; one list contains the names of CAF members of the rank of Lt(N)/Capt to Cdr/LCol and another list contains the names of NCMs of the rank of PO1/ WO and above.  An MS Excel program is used to randomly select 25 names of each list for every GCM. Details of this process are found at Annex A.

5.         When empanelling a GCM, 25 members from each list when applicable (reflective of the requirement based on the rank of the accused person) are randomly selected from the pool following the process at Annex A, to be disseminated by e-mail (Annex B) using a blind copy distribution list the questionnaire at Annex C.  The questionnaire is distributed, in order to confirm/determine the member’s eligibility (QR&O s. 111.03 (3) and availability (QR&O s. 111.03 (4). The members are normally given seven calendar days to complete and return the questionnaire to the CMA’s office. This timeframe may be shorter, if the GCM is scheduled on short notice. Those members who fail to respond will receive a reminder. The local AJAG/DJA may be cc’d on any reminder, for their information/action as appropriate.

6.         The questionnaires are carefully reviewed by the CMA.  In consultation with the Court Martial Administration Legal Advisor, the CMA excludes or excuses those members who meet one of the situations specified in QR&O art. 111.03 (3) and (4) (reference B).  Should there be insufficient names left for appointments as a result of the number of members being ineligible or unavailable, the CMA will randomly draw other names from the pool and repeat the process.

7.         Respecting the order of the random selection for the 25 members of each list who received the questionnaire and who were not excluded or excused, starting at the top of the list, the CMA will appoint the first five members, and alternate members. The name of any member who is not appointed, regardless of a decision to exclude or excuse him/her, will remain in the six-month pool.

8.          In accordance with QR&O art. 111.02 (Convening of Courts Martial), the CMA will issue a Convening Order. In addition, pursuant to QR&O art. 111.02(2.1), the CMA may issue an Order to Assemble that identifies the members and alternate members of their appointments.

9.          When an appointed member named on the Order to Assemble no longer meets the requirements of QR&O art. 111.03(3) and (4) (Procedure for Appointment of Court Martial Members) is excluded or excused from performing court martial duties by the CMA before the court martial panel is sworn in (see QR&O art. 112.17), the CMA will appoint an alternate to replace the excluded or excused member. If an alternate member is further required in accordance with QR&O art. 111.04 (Appointment of Alternate Members), the alternate member will be appointed sequentially from the record. The CMA will also note on the record the reasons for excluding or excusing a member and inform the accused, through legal counsel if applicable, and the prosecutor.

10.       Once a new member or alternate member is appointed, the CMA will issue an Order to Assemble that will inform the appointee. The CMA will provide a copy of the Order to Assemble to the military judge assigned to preside at the court martial, the members of the court martial panel, the accused, through legal counsel if applicable, and the prosecutor.

(original signed by)

M.S. Morrissey
Court Martial Administrator


Annex A -  Random Methodology Process

Annex B -  Email: Court Martial Panel Selection Questionnaire – Availability and Eligibility

Annex C - Questionnaire

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