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80,000 on Military Justice Awareness Prog.

80,000 To Take Part In Military Justice Awareness Program

Defence Media Mail List

4 February, 2001


More than 80 000 men and women from all ranks across the Australian Defence Force, regular and reserve, will take part in a nation-wide awareness program aimed at reinforcing the appropriate application and administration of the military justice system, the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Bruce Scott announced today.

In an unprecedented move, almost 50 000 officers, sailors, soldiers and airmen and women are expected to take part in the two-hour awareness program to be held at Defence bases across Australia tomorrow morning (Monday 5 Feb). Some 30 000 Reservists will take part in the awareness program at the first available opportunity.

Mr Scott said the Federal Government had endorsed the program, which is designed to rebuild the confidence of servicemen and women in the ADFs military justice system, as well as to demonstrate to the Australian public the resolve of the ADF leadership to provide a safe and fair workplace for all ADF personnel.

"In a video address to the men and women of the Navy, Army and Air Force, the Chief of Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barrie, and the single Service Chiefs, Vice Admiral David Shackleton, Lieutenant General Peter Cosgrove and Air Marshal Errol McCormack will emphasise the requirement for members of the ADF to adhere to principles of military justice."

"Immediately following the video address by the Service Chiefs, Commanding Officers of individual ships, units and bases will conduct discussion sessions with their personnel on the issue of military justice," he said.

Commanding Officers will also discuss the existence of Equity Advisers as well as 1-800 helplines, which are designed to provide opportunities for personnel to receive advice on methods of reporting inappropriate behaviour if they do not wish to go to the direct chain of command.

Mr Scott said the awareness program will also inform service personnel of the Military Justice Audit process, headed by retired Federal Court Judge, Mr James Burchett QC, aimed at evaluating and improving the military justice system.

"All service personnel will be provided with information as to how they can contact the audit team to make individual submissions."

The audit team is looking to hear from personnel who have concern about the military justice system as well as hearing about what elements of the system is working well.

"Rough justice has no place in the ADF and I am confident that the military justice awareness program will greatly contribute to the restoration of confidence in the ability of the ADF to provide a safe and fair workplace for all personnel," Mr Scott said.

Media Contact: Mark Croxford 02 6277 7820 or 0408 645 787


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