This thesis examines how military members and veterans with Operational Stress Injuries are treated by Canadian justice systems. It suggests a correlation between mental injuries sustained on operations by military personnel and propensities for military and societal misconduct. By comparing civilian and military processes with American justice counterparts, a plan to improve the existing Canadian legal landscape is proposed. Using an analysis of the underlying philosophy and purpose of military justice, a problem solving diversionary court is recommended, along with legislative and policy amendments. The use of a consent-based "Treatment Standing Court Martial" would place military justice officials parallel to civilian justice alternative measures programs, and in a better position to break the cycle of recidivism among veterans by addressing root causes. Education to reduce stigma along with military-civilian partnerships are also advocated to enhance the detection of mental illness and to foster early treatment for military personnel and veterans. The overall goals of the work include: reducing recidivism, improving operational efficiency and taking care of military members, veterans and their families.
by J. Jason Samson Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Laws
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The Canadian Veterans Advocacy Team.