Her Majesty the Queen v. Corporal R.P. Beaudry
(Federal Court) (Criminal) (As of Right)
Constitutional law - Criminal law, Offences, Military offences - Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Criminal law - Offences - Constitutional law - Military offences - Right to jury - Whether s. 130(1)(a) of National Defence Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. N-5, violates s. 11(f) of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
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On July 14, 2016, the respondent Corporal Beaudry, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, was convicted of sexual assault causing bodily harm (an offence under s. 272 of the Criminal Code) by a Standing Court Martial. Section 130 of the National Defence Act (NDA) provides that Criminal Code offences are service offences that can be tried in the military justice system. Before trial, Cpl. Beaudry had asked for a trial before judge and jury, but this was denied.
On appeal, Cpl. Beaudry argued that s. 130 violates his rights to a jury trial protected by s. 11(f) of the Charter. His appeal was allowed. The Court declared paragraph 130(1)(a) of the National Defence Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. N-5, to be of no force or effect in its application to any civil offence for which the maximum sentence is five years or more. Bell C.J., dissenting, would have upheld the constitutionality of the provision.
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