Military Judge Position - Guide for Candidates

July 2018

Process for an Application for Appointment

Appointments as a military judge with the Court Martial are made by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of National Defence. The Office of the Judge Advocate General works in conjunction with the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs to facilitate the administration of the selection process.

A. Expression of Interest and Eligibility

  1. Application Form - provides the basic data for the subsequent assessment of, or comment on, the candidate. Candidates must ensure that this form is completed in full and in accordance with the instructions provided. All information received will be treated confidentially.

  2. Authorization Form - to obtain a statement of the candidate’s current and past standing with the law societies in which they hold or have held membership.

  3. Background Check Consent Form - A background check will be conducted only if the Minister of Justice intends to nominate the candidate for an appointment to this judicial office following his or her assessment and recommendation. A background check is required prior to any appointment to a public office.

Seven (7) copies of the completed forms should be sent to:

Executive Director, Judicial Appointments
Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs
99 Metcalfe Street, 8th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1E3
Telephone: (613) 992-9400
Toll free: 1-877-583-4266

Each Application File will be kept on file for a period of three years from the date of receipt. Candidates will be notified when the Application File is received and the date they were assessed by the Committee, but will not be provided with the results of the assessment.

The statutory qualifications for appointment as regular force and reserve force military judges are set out in sections ss.165.21 and 165.22 of the National Defence Act. Interested candidates who meet the requirements are invited to submit their candidacy for consideration by the Military Judges Selection Committee.


B. Military Judges Selection Committee

The Minister of National Defence will appoint members to the Military Judges Selection Committee, as required. The Committee will consist of representatives of the Canadian Armed Forces and legal community. Shortlisted candidates may be required to participate in an interview, in person or by video conference/Skype with the Committee.

All Committee proceedings and consultations take place on a confidential basis.


C. Assessments and Confidentiality

Consultations in the legal community and/or any other community may be undertaken by the Committee for each candidate.

Professional competence and overall merit are the primary qualifications for an appointment. In this respect, Committee members will consider the Assessment Criteria used for evaluating fitness for a military judicial appointment. These relate to professional competence and experience, personal characteristics, and potential impediments to the appointment. The Committee may also consider a candidate’s expertise in a certain area of law.

The Committee will assess all candidates and make a recommendation for an appointment. Candidates will not be notified of the results of their assessment. However, candidates who are under consideration may be asked to meet with the Committee at different stages of the process. The results will be kept confidential and solely for the use of the Minister.

Following the assessments, the Committee will produce a list for the Minister with a list of “recommended” and “highly recommended” candidates for appointment as a military judge for when a position becomes available.

Following receipt of the Committee’s recommendation, the Minister may at his or her discretion seek further information from the Committee on any candidate. On those occasions when a Committee’s advice may be contrary to the information received from other sources by the Minister, the Minister may ask the Committee for a reassessment of the candidate.


D. Duration of Validity of Assessments

Candidates will be notified of the date they were assessed by the Committee. They are not provided the results of the assessment, which are confidential and solely for the Minister’s use. The assessments are valid for a period of thirty-six (36) months after which, a new selection process will be launched. If a candidate continues to be interested in being considered for appointment as a military judge during the time between the expiry of the assessments and the launch of the new application process, candidates must submit a new Questionnaire during the three months preceding the assessment expiry date. In that case, a prior “recommended” or “highly recommended” assessment remains valid until the new assessment is completed.


E. Appointments

Appointments as a military judge with the Court Martial are made by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of National Defence.

Before recommending an appointment to Cabinet, the Minister may consult with members of the judiciary and the bar, with the personnel of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence, as well as with members of the public.



F. Position Tenure

Military Judges are appointed pursuant to the National Defence Act. Members of the judiciary hold office during good behaviour. An appointment is therefore permanent and terminates only upon attainment of the age for compulsory retirement from the Canadian Armed Forces, which is currently 60 years of age, or upon the resignation or removal of the military judge from office.

Military Judges hold office during good behaviour, and are removable from office only for cause. Complaints made against members of the judiciary are subject to investigation by the Military Judges Inquiry Committee, a body comprised of three judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the Court Martial Appeal Court. The role and the functions of the Military Judges Inquiry Committee are set out in sections 165.31 and 165.32 of the National Defence Act.

Where the Military Judges Inquiry Committee makes a finding of misconduct, it may make a recommendation to the Governor in Council for the removal of the military judge from office pursuant to s.165.32(7) of the National Defence Act.