DAOD 5049-2, Conscientious Objection

Identification

Date of Issue: 2004-07-30

Application: This is an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Forces ("CF members").

Supersession: CANFORGEN 076/03, Interim Policy - Administration of Conscientious Objectors

Approval Authority: This DAOD is issued under the authority of the Director General Personnel and Family Support Services (DGPFSS).

Enquiries: Director Human Rights and Diversity (DHRD)


Operating Principles

Context

Enrolment of persons in the CF is strictly voluntary and CF members must be prepared to perform any lawful duty to defend Canada, its interests and its values, while contributing to international peace and security. A CF member who has a conscientious objection remains liable to perform any lawful duty, but may request voluntary release on the basis of their objection.

Eligibility for Voluntary Release

A CF member may request voluntary release on the basis of conscientious objection if the CF member has a sincerely held objection to participation in:

An objection based primarily on one or more of the following does not permit voluntary release on the basis of a conscientious objection:

Performance of Duties

A CF member who applies for voluntary release on the basis of a conscientious objection remains liable to perform any lawful duty until released from the CF. However, to the extent that the exigencies of service allow, a CF member, while their request for release is under review, shall not be assigned duties that conflict with their stated beliefs. A CF member seeking release is required to perform all assigned duties satisfactorily in an impartial, loyal and effective manner.

A CF member on training who seeks voluntary release on the basis of a conscientious objection shall immediately cease training and be placed in the local or regional holding organization while a decision is being made.

Release

A CF member whose voluntary release on the basis of a conscientious objection is approved shall be released under item 4(c) of the Table to QR&O 15.01, Release of Officers and Non-Commissioned Members, unless release under a more appropriate item is approved by a release authority.

Obligatory Service

A CF member who has incurred obligatory service as a result of subsidized education or training or a recruitment allowance remains subject to QR&O 15.07, Voluntary Release After Subsidized Education or Training, QR&O 15.071, Voluntary Release After Receiving a Recruitment Allowance, QR&O 15.075, Voluntary Release After Receipt of Pilot Terminable Allowance and other applicable provisions.

Top of Page

Application Process

Expeditiousness

A commanding officer (CO) shall process a request for release on the basis of a conscientious objection as expeditiously as possible. Once a determination has been made that a CF member satisfies the criteria in the Eligibility for Voluntary Release block and release under item 4(c) is approved, there is no requirement for any period of notice prior to the release.

Process Table

The following table outlines the process for the submission and review of a request for voluntary release on the basis of a conscientious objection:

Who? What happens?

CF member

  • completes the Application for Voluntary Release/Transfer in Appendix 3 of Annex A of CFAO 15-2, Release - Regular Force, Appendix 3 of Annex E of CFAO 49-10, Terms of Service - Officers - Primary Reserve, or Annex D of Appendix 3 of CFAO 49-11, Terms of Service Non-Commissioned Members Primary Reserve, as applicable;
  • cites the conscientious objection in Part 2 of the Application as the basis for the request;
  • includes applicable supporting documentation, if any, to substantiate the conscientious objection; and
  • forwards the Application and supporting documentation to the CO.

CO

  • reviews the Application for voluntary release to assess if the CF member satisfies the criteria in the Eligibility for Voluntary Release block;
  • takes into consideration the factors in the Considerations block and any supporting documentation provided by the CF member;
  • seeks advice from the chaplaincy, personnel selection branches and others as required;
  • ensures the Application for release is processed in accordance with applicable release regulations, orders and instructions;
  • if the CO concurs with the request, completes Part 3 of the Application, indicating the CF member is not recommended for transfer to any other component of the CF and is not suitable for emergency re-enrolment unless circumstances change; and
  • forwards the recommendations, the Application and supporting documentation to the:
    • applicable release authority in the case of CF members of the Regular Force; or
    • applicable command headquarters (CHQ) release authority in the case of CF members of the Primary Reserve.

Applicable release authority

  • determines if the CF member satisfies the criteria in the Eligibility for Voluntary Release block, taking into consideration:
    • the factors in the Considerations block;
    • the recommendations of the CO; and
    • any supporting documentation of the CF member.
  • informs the CO and CF member of the determination; and
  • issues a release instruction if the CF member satisfies the criteria in the Eligibility for Voluntary Release block and voluntary release is approved.

Considerations

Factors to be considered when assessing if a CF member satisfies the criteria in the Eligibility for Voluntary Release block include, as applicable to the CF member:

Grievance

A CF member who is not satisfied with the disposition of their request for voluntary release based on a conscientious objection may submit a grievance in accordance with QR&O 7.01, Right to Grieve.

References

Source References

Related References