DND News

Holman appointed new JAG

The appointment of Colonel Robin Holman as the next Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has been officially announced, effective June 28, 2023 upon the retirement of the current JAG, Rear-Admiral Geneviève Bernatchez. The appointment of the JAG is a Governor in Council is based on the recommendation of the Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand.

Col Holman will serve in this role for a term of four years and will be promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General. As provided at sections 9.1 and 9.2 of the National Defence Act, the JAG is the legal advisor to the Governor General, the Minister of National Defence, the Department of National Defence, and the CAF in all matters relating to military law. The JAG also has the superintendence of the administration of military justice in the CAF.

Minister Anand welcomed Colonel Robin Holman as the 16th 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.”

Col Holman is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, (B.Eng.), Queen’s University (LL.B.) and McGill University (LL.M.), and joined the Office of the Judge Advocate General as a legal officer in February 2002. He served as a military prosecutor, as a deployed legal officer and in a series of leadership roles within the Office of the JAG including Deputy JAG for Military Justice and Deputy JAG for Operational and International Law. Holman has served as the Acting Judge Advocate General since November 2021.

“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.” said Colonel Holman.

The process began in 2022 when a Solicitation of Interest notice for the Judge Advocate General was distributed on December 22, 2022. Officers wanting to be considered for this Governor in Council appointment were invited to submit their interest to the Minister by January 27, 2023. Candidates were invited to undergo assessments and interviews, prior to the selection and appointment of the next JAG.

Col Robin Holman joined the CAF in 1986 and the Office of the Judge Advocate General as a legal officer in February 2002.

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 their role as superintendent of the administration of military justice in the CAF. From 2017 to 2020, as the Deputy Judge Advocate General for Operational and International Law, he was responsible for the provision of legal services to all CAF international and domestic operations and to all Department of National Defence and CAF activities in the areas of national security and intelligence. In August 2020, he was appointed as Chief of Staff of the Office of the JAG and Legal Branch Advisor, a position that he held until September 2022. Since November 2021, he has served as the Acting Judge Advocate General.

The outgoing JAG, RAdm Geneviève Bernatchez, was the first woman to be appointed as the JAG on June 28, 2017, she will be retiring having completed 26 years of service as a Regular Force Legal Officer.