New Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Armed Forces announced
The Honourable Minister Anita Anand declared the selection of Colonel Robin Holman as the forthcoming Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) on June 17. Starting from June 28, 2023, he will undertake this responsibility for a period of four years and will receive a promotion to the rank of Brigadier-General.
“I am pleased to welcome Colonel Robin Holman as the sixteenth Judge Advocate General. I look forward to working with Colonel Holman to deliver transformational change for the military justice system, and I extend my congratulations to him,” expressed the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence
Rear-Admiral Geneviève Bernatchez, the first woman to be appointed as JAG on June 28, 2017, will be retiring after completing 26 years of service as a Regular Force Legal Officer.
As stated in sections 9.1 and 9.2 of the National Defence Act, the JAG acts as the legal advisor for the Governor General, Minister of National Defence, Department of National Defence, and CAF in all matters concerning military law. Additionally, the JAG oversees the management of military justice in the CAF.
The appointment of the JAG is made by the Governor in Council upon the recommendation of the Minister of National Defence, as specified in section 9 of the National Defence Act. The JAG holds this position for a four-year term.
On December 22, 2022, a Solicitation of Interest notice for the Judge Advocate General was circulated. Officers who wished to be considered for this appointment by the Governor in Council were invited to express their interest to the Minister before January 27, 2023. Candidates underwent assessments and interviews before the selection and appointment of the new JAG.
Col Holman obtained his education from the Royal Military College of Canada, where he earned a B.Eng. degree, and pursued his LL.B. at Queen’s University and LL.M. at McGill University. In February 2002, he joined the Office of the Judge Advocate General as a legal officer. Col Holman has fulfilled various roles within the JAG’s office, including military prosecutor, deployed legal officer, Deputy JAG for Military Justice, and Deputy JAG for Operational and International Law. Col Holman served as Deputy Judge Advocate General for Military Justice until 2017, leading a team of military and civilian legal professionals responsible for supporting the JAG in overseeing military justice in the CAF. From 2017 to 2020, he held the position of Deputy Judge Advocate General for Operational and International Law, providing legal services for all CAF international and domestic operations, as well as national security and intelligence matters within the Department of National Defence and CAF. From August 2020 to September 2022, he served as Chief of Staff of the Office of the JAG and acted as the Legal Branch Advisor. Since November 2021, he has been fulfilling the role of Acting Judge Advocate General.
“It is an honour to be appointed as the 16th Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Armed Forces. I am proud to lead a team of dedicated legal officers, public servants and other CAF members who, in partnership with colleagues across the Government of Canada, provide essential legal services to the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence across the spectrum of military law in order to enable Defence Team activities and operations at home and abroad,” stated Colonel Robin Holman, Incoming Judge Advocate General.