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Army September 3, 2009
The Soldiers' Newspaper
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Face of Army
Serious business: Tpr Levi Grima, 2
Cav Regt, is in Iraq with Secdet.
Photo by PO Dave Connolly
By Barry Rollings
NINETY-SIX per cent of matters dealt
with under the military justice system
are done outside of the court, CDF
ACM Angus Houston has said.
He was speaking at Defence Minister
Senator John Faulkner's media conference
on August 26 to discuss the implications
of the High Court's unanimous finding
that the provisions of the Defence Force
Discipline Act establishing the Australian
Military Court (AMC) were invalid.
The High Court ruling flowed from
the Lane v Morrison case, which chal-
lenged the validity of the AMC and the
Director of Military Prosecutions.
The court found the AMC was
exercising the judicial power of the
Commonwealth, but did not meet
the requirement of chapter III of the
ACM Houston, who later issued inter-
im procedures to cover contingencies aris-
ing from the court ruling, said most serv-
ice offences were dealt with summarily at
unit level without reference to the AMC,
and such issues were largely unaffected
by the High Court's decision.
"The court's decisions and its reasons
involve some very complex constitutional
issues," ACM Houston said.
Established in October 2007 by the
previous government, the AMC followed
a series of Senate committee reviews and
reports, which recommended extensive
changes to the system of military jus-
tice in Australia. Military judges were
appointed and operated separately to the
chain of command but the AMC stopped
short of meeting the chapter III require-
ments covering the appointment and ten-
ure of judges.
"The Government maintains its strong
commitment to a military justice system
that is just and impartial, a system that
meets community expectations for trans-
parency and independence, and one that
at all times treats ADF members fairly,"
Senator Faulkner said.
The CDF's procedures, which came into effect
from August 26, include:
All matters referred to, or before, the AMC are
suspended until further notice.
The conduct of all summary proceedings is tem-
porarily suspended until September 7.
In accordance with DI(G) Admin 45-2 Reporting
and Investigation of Alleged Offences within the
Australian Defence Organisation, commanders and
supervisors are to continue to report "notifiable
incidents" to the ADF Investigative Service or other
Defence investigative authorities.
Commanders may, after seeking advice from
an ADF legal officer, give consideration to taking
appropriate administrative action in lieu of discipli-
nary action during the interim period.
All other provisions of the Defence Force
Discipline Act 1982 remain operational and should
continue as normal.
By Cpl Corinne Boer
AROUND 580 ADF personnel are
participating in the largest joint
military exercise with PNG since
the country's independence 33
Exercise Olgeta Warrior 2009
aims to strengthen the traditional
bonds that have developed between
the ADF and Papua New Guinea
Defence Force (PNGDF).
Soldiers from 3 Bde sailed from
Townsville on August 22 to par-
ticipate in the month-long training.
The exercise consists of amphibi-
ous, land and aviation elements and
comprises four separate exercises.
Land Component Commander
Lt-Col Rupert Hoskin said the exer-
cise would benefit individual sol-
diers as well as the wider ADF.
"This is an excellent opportu-
nity for ADF and PNGDF soldiers
to share knowledge and to experi-
ence different cultures, and for our
relationship with our Pacific neigh-
bour," Lt-Col Hoskin said.
Ex Puk Puk signified the start of
Ex Olgeta Warrior. It was officially
opened on August 5, with a custom-
ary PNG welcome.
The combined-engineer exer-
cise was established in 2002. The
activity has two main objectives
-- to improve the PNGDF infra-
structure and enhance interoperabil-
ity between the two defence forc-
es' engineers. Head of Australian
Defence Staff in PNG Col Luke
Foster said the training would dem-
onstrate the close working relation-
ship between the PNG and ADF.
"The Australian Government is
pleased to be able to support the
refurbishment projects, which will
improve working conditions for
PNGDF soldiers and allow impor-
tant skill sharing between our two
This year's works include
refurbishment of the area theatre,
soldiers club, community centre,
remodelling sports sheds into two
classrooms for training, rebuilding
the ablution block and painting the
SOLDIERS from 1 Bde recently
returned from Afghanistan with
a welcome boost to Legacy's
Darwin Chapter -- a $50,000
donation collected entirely from
members who served in MRTF 1.
The money was raised through
a number of events including a
"Pay for a beard" scheme, where
members could pay $500 for the
privilege of growing a beard.
Contingent CO Lt-Col Shane
Gabriel said the donation was
made in memory of Cpl Mathew
Hopkins, who was killed in action.
"We know, through our loss of Cpl
Hopkins, that we have a respon-
sibility to care for the families of
those who can no longer do it for
themselves," he said.
Legacy week is from August
30-September 5 and, through dona-
tions, Legacy hopes to continue
to help 115,000 widows and 1900
children and people with disabili-
Bonus: Darwin Legacy president
Jack Hamilton accepts the cheque
for $50,000 from Cpl Scott Stone
and Lt-Col Shane Gabriel.
Warriors to join forces
"In the interim it is critical the
ADF has a functioning military disci-
pline system, particularly when it is cur-
rently engaged in operations overseas.
The Government will give appropriate
priority to legislation that temporarily
reintroduces the pre-2007 military justice
machinery for trials by courts martial and
Defence Force Magistrate.
"Reinstating the military justice
machinery which pre-existed the estab-
lishment of the AMC will allow us time
in Government to explore and examine
the options for a chapter III court."
Senator Faulkner believed only a small
number of cases were affected by the
High Court finding. Since its establish-
ment, the court had dealt with 212 matters
referred to trial. Of those, 171 had been
finalised, eight were listed for trial and 33
remained with the registrar.
CA Lt-Ken Gillespie said regardless
of the developments in the military justice
system, he expected all soldiers to "main-
tain the highest standards of personal and
"I have full confidence that Army
personnel will continue to perform in an
exemplary manner," he said.
Traditional bonds: Australian soldiers receive a PNG welcome for Ex Puk Puk.
Legacy boost honours Cpl Hopkins
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