Public Interest Cases

At any time, if it is in the public interest, the Chairperson may initiate an investigation into a complaint about police conduct or interference in a police investigation. If warranted, the Chairperson may decide to hold a public interest hearing. In exercising this statutory discretion, the Chairperson considers a number of factors including, among others:

If it is a conduct complaint, this decision by the Chair relieves the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) of the obligation to deal with the complaint.

The Commission has substantial powers in the conduct of hearings, including administering oaths, calling witnesses, by subpoena if necessary, and compelling them to give evidence under oath, and to produce documents. The Commission is also empowered to receive evidence and information, whether admissible in a court of law or not, subject to certain restrictions in the National Defence Act.

In most instances, hearings are open to the public, although exceptions can be made when factors such as privacy and national security are a concern.

Any person who appears before the Commission can choose to be represented by legal counsel at a hearing.

The Commission is required to give both sides notice of hearing. In addition, the Commission has the discretion to pay travel and living expenses to both parties to a complaint and their respective counsel, subject to the National Defence Act.

If the complaint relates to conduct that is the subject of a disciplinary or criminal proceedings before a Court or tribunal of first instance, the Commission's hearing may not take place until those proceedings have been completed.

The Rules of Procedure for Hearings Before the Military Police Complaints Commission, S.O.R./2002-241 outline the procedure to be followed by all persons involved in a hearing before the Military Police Complaints Commission.

Public Interest Investigations and Hearings

This section contains links to the public interest cases conducted by the MPCC:

Protocol

The following protocol was developed for and is applicable to all final reports issued in public interest cases.

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