Public Sector Award Recipient

Commodore Geneviève Bernatchez, CD


Commodore Geneviève Bernatchez, CD

Commodore Bernatchez was appointed as the fifteenth Judge Advocate General on June 27th,, 2017. She acts as legal adviser to the Governor General, the Minister of National Defence, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces in matters relating to military law. Her responsibilities also include the superintendence of the administration of military justice in the Canadian Armed Forces. She has the privilege to lead the members of the Office of the Judge Advocate General, a dedicated team of Regular and Reserve Force legal officers, senior non-commissioned officers and civilian personnel who deliver legal services across the full spectrum of military law, in Canada and abroad.


A native of Gaspé (Québec), Commodore Bernatchez enrolled in the Canadian Naval Reserve in 1987 at Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship DONNACONA (Montréal). In 1997, Commodore Bernatchez transferred to the Regular Force and joined the Office of the Judge Advocate General. Her career with the Office reflects diverse appointments and responsibilities involving the provision of legal advice and services in the areas of operational, military justice and administrative law.


Commodore Bernatchez deployed with the Canadian Forces Air Component during the Kosovo conflict in 1999, and was involved in the oversight, coordination and provision of legal services to Canadian Armed Forces expeditionary and domestic operations from 2000 to 2005. Upon promotion to the rank of Captain (Navy) in 2010, she was the Deputy Judge Advocate General for Operations. As such, she was the senior legal officer responsible for the provision of operational and international legal advice and services to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. It is also during that time that she co-authored the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare (the “Tallinn Manual”, Cambridge University Press, 2013), the first published manual on the legal framework supporting cyber conflicts.


Commodore Bernatchez holds a Masters of International Legal Studies degree, with a specialization in National Security Law, from Georgetown University (Washington D.C.), a Bachelor of Laws from the Université de Montréal and a Diplôme d’Études Collégiales in Administration from the Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf (Montréal). She has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 1993.

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We congratulate Commodore Bernatchez for her distinguished career in the Canadian Armed Forces and her significant contributions to development of, and respect for, international law.

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