Contract reveals limited scope of military’s million-dollar sexual harassment investigation
An external investigation into sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces cost an estimated $838, 566,
Global News obtained a copy of the contract, which also lays out the scope and limitations of the investigation, conducted by retired Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps.
Deschamps was allowed to make recommendations on how “sexual misconduct” and “sexual harassment” is defined; policy regarding sexual misconduct; the training of military members on sexual misconduct and sexual harassment; and resources to implement policies.
It’s also noted that Deschamps was to look into the extent military members report alleged incidents of sexual assault, and reasons why someone wouldn’t want to report, including the role military culture and the chain of command plays.
But significantly, Deschamps’ contract shows her review won’t look at the military or criminal justice system, particularly the conduct of military policy and the Judge Advocate General (JAG), or the senior legal officer in the military – all are listed as out of scope.
Critics often say a major issue facing sexual assault investigations is that they’re kept within the military justice system, rather than conducted by civilian police forces.
Deschamps’ review was prompted by media reports in 2014 that raised concerns about how sexual misconduct and sexual harassment is addressed in the military.
Gen. Tom Lawson, chief of the defence staff, ordered an independent review to investigate issues regarding policy, procedures, and programs.
Marie Deschamps was put to the task in June 2014 and was given 18 months to complete her review.
The contract shows she had to provide monthly progress reports to Craig R. King, the project authority. The deadline for the draft of the report was Feb. 16, 2015.
Lawson receive the English version of the external review on March 27, and Canadians will learn what it entails as early as Thursday.
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