Finding Legal Assistance

If you are appealing a conviction or sentence, you have a number of options in seeking a lawyer.

First, you may request that a lawyer from the office of the Defence Counsel Services (DCS) be appointed to represent you. To do so, you must submit a memorandum through your chain of command to DCS. Your request must be accompanied by a copy of your Notice of Appeal and be submitted within 21 days of filing your Notice with the Court. You should also provide a letter from the lawyer who represented you at the Court Martial indicating whether in his or her opinion your appeal has legal merit. If you cannot obtain such a letter, you may request that DCS provide you with an opinion. Your request will be forwarded to an Appeal Committee. If the committee believes the appeal has legal merit, it will approve the appointment of a lawyer by DCS at no expense to you.

Second, you may hire a civilian lawyer of your choice, at your expense. Depending upon your province of residence, you may be entitled to financial assistance under a legal aid plan. Your orderly room should be able to provide you with contact information.

If the Minister appeals the Court Martial decision, you are automatically entitled to be represented at no expense by a DCS lawyer. You may instead choose to hire a civilian lawyer at your own expense.

If your questions are still not satisfied, we invite you to review the Director of Defence Counsel Services Manual which can be found on the web site of the Office of the Judge Advocate General.

Date modified: 2020-05-26