Lieutenant (N) G. D. Scott v. Her Majesty The Queen
Canada Court Martial Appeal Court
2004 CMAC 2 (2004)
Canadian Navy Lieutenant G. D. Scott (defendant) did not have religious beliefs. Scott was scheduled to participate in a parade. During this parade, Scott would be asked to remove his headdress, i.e., head covering, to show respect while a nondenominational prayer was given. Scott notified his superior officer that he did not believe in participating in the religious ceremony and that he had concerns about being forced to participate in it. The Canadian military had a history of prayer ceremonies, but it also had a specific exemption that allowed servicemembers who wore head coverings for religious reasons, e.g., members of the Jewish or Sikh faiths, to continue to wear head coverings during these prayer ceremonies. However, the superior officer told Scott that he would have to obey the order to remove his head covering. At the parade, the parade commander ordered all troops to remove their head coverings, but Scott refused. A chaplain in religious clothing then gave a short address that the chaplain later described as a nondenominational religious ceremony. The ceremony was followed by the playing of what was generally considered a religious hymn. Scott was charged with disobeying the order and convicted. Scott appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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