OTTAWA — The Commonwealth Liberal Government uses former Supreme Court judge and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbor to claim an independent review of military sexual assault, harassment, and other misconduct. Leading the content.
Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan announced the appointment of Arbor on Thursday. This was about three months after the government and the Canadian Army were shaken by allegations of inappropriate sexual activity by the commander-in-chief of the military.
One of Arbor’s main missions is to help victims and others establish an independent system for reporting cases of sexual misconduct. But she also reviews all aspects of the military’s approach to prevent and punish such behavior.
This includes everything from screening, recruiting and training service members to how to process reports, support victims, investigate and punish perpetrators.
“This system needs to experience fraud, respond to their needs, and focus on the chain of command and those outside the Pentagon,” Sajan said in a prepared statement.
“No less is accepted. No less is accepted. How Madame Arbor and her team must evolve to support those affected, and all cases are appropriate. It provides an important direction on how to ensure that it is processed by. “
Former Supreme Court judges do not consider individual cases, many of which are currently under active investigation by the gendarmerie, but instead make recommendations on how the military can do better.
Appointed as one of a number of new initiatives announced by Sajan, Arbor will send recommendations to the minister next year or so, and the minister will choose whether to direct the military or the Ministry of Defense to implement it.
Arbor’s appointment could be welcomed because the 74-year-old has a long-standing reputation for telling the truth to power, including during his four-year tenure as the United Nations Supreme Human Rights Official.
Meanwhile, the government has promised to act on Arbor’s recommendations throughout his tenure, stating that her final report will be published as soon as it is complete.
Nonetheless, victims and others were given ongoing questions in March 2018 about how the Liberal Party government handled allegations of sexual misconduct against then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Jonathan Vance. There may be concerns from.
The responsibility for making Arbor’s recommendations ultimately lies with the new team under the title of “Responsible for Professional Behavior and Culture” under a three-star general, whose responsibility is racism and hatred. It also extends to removing racist behavior.
Jennie Carignan, one of the military’s top female police officers who recently completed a tour to direct a NATO training mission in Vice Admiral Iraq, was tapped to fill her position.
“Their goal is to ensure that our actions and actions reflect the best of our organization and Canadian society,” Sajan said of the new team.
“Their efforts work closely with the work being done by external reviews. We have experience not only in best practices, but also in experts, supporters, and inside and outside our institution, and at all levels. I’m getting information from people. “
Sajan called Thursday’s announcement as a major step forward in the military’s fight against sexual misconduct, but many victims, advocates and experts say that the only real path to change is through external oversight and accountability. Claimed to be a thing.
It was recommended by Supreme Court Marie Deshan, who retired in March 2015, when she released an explosive report on the scale and scope of the military sexual misconduct.
Deshan’s primary recommendation is to create a separate center outside the military to receive reports of inappropriate behavior while assisting in the development of training, the provision of assistance to victims, and the monitoring of how incidents are handled. did.
However, the military resisted creating such an external body. Instead, the government allowed the establishment of a sexual arousal response center. This is a private sector-run organization that focuses primarily on supporting and training victims but does not have oversight authority.
Rather than establishing an independent center recommended by Deshan, the government has ordered another review, which has been advertised by supporters as the best solution, causing anxiety among victims and others. There is also a possibility.
In addition to Arbor’s appointment, Mr Sajan said the Ottawa-based response center would extend its footsteps to various military communities across the country. The government also provides peer support to uniformed victims.
With a federal budget, the government promised $ 77 million in new money and planned to redirect another $ 158 million from other parts of the army to help fight sexual misconduct in the ranks. Both implied measures.
The start of Arbor’s mission is consistent with a compulsory review of the military judicial system currently underway by Judge Morris Fish of the former Supreme Court.
Fish plans to submit a report to Congress in June, and the government states that Arbor can use his findings as part of her work to prevent duplication.
By Lee Berthiaume