28 February 2010

This week in Congress (1 March 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Tuesday, 2 March 2010


House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees, Legislative Presentation of the Disabled American Veterans, 1400 hours 345 Cannon House Office Building. The live webcast can be viewed here. To view the Senate Committee's webpage go here.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Senate Commitee on Veterans' Affairs, Oversight Hearing: Mental Health Care and Suicide Prevention for Veterans, 0930 hours, 418 Russell Senate Office Building.

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Health, Legislative Hearing to allow for increased flexibility in payments for State veterans homes HR 4241, 1400 hours, Room 340 Cannon House Office Building. To view the live webcast go here. To view HR 4241 on Thomas go here.

House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Military Personnel, to receive testmony of the Department of Defense process for assessing the requirements to implement repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," 1430 hours, 2118 Rayburn House Office Building.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Senate Armed Services Committee,
to receive testimony on the Air Force budget request in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2011 and the Future Years Defense Program, 0930 hours, Room SH 216, Hart Senate Office Building.

House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Legislative Presentation of PVA, JWV, MOPH, Ex-POW, BVA, MOAA, AFSA and WWP, 0930 hours, room 345 Cannon House Office Building. To view the live webcast go here.
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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

27 February 2010

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (1 March 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers, veterans or concern military justice issues, relate to freedom of information or national security, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

Monday, 1 March 2010

Senate Community Affairs References Committee, Hearing on Suicide in Australia, 0900 - 1645 hours, Committee Room 2S1, Parliament House, Canberra. Terms of reference can be found here. Department of Veterans' Affairs submission can be found here in PDF. A complete list of submissions can be found here.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Senate Community Affairs References Committee, Hearing on Suicide in Australia, hours TBD, Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane, Queensland. Terms of reference can be found here. Department of Veterans' Affairs submission can be found here in PDF. A complete list of submissions can be found here.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


Senate Community Affairs References Committee, Hearing on Suicide in Australia, 0900 - 1700 hours, New South Wales State Parliament, Sydney, New South Wales. Terms of reference can be found here. Department of Veterans' Affairs submission can be found here in PDF. A complete list of submissions can be found here.


Thursday, 4 March 2010

Senate Community Affairs References Committee, Hearing on Suicide in Australia, hours TBD, St James Court Conference Centre, Melbourne, Victoria. Terms of reference can be found here. Department of Veterans' Affairs submission can be found here in PDF. A complete list of submissions can be found here.

High Court of Australia

The High Court is not holding any hearings until 12 March 2010, which will be special leave applications. None of these applications involve issues pertinent to this blog. For a list of the special leave applications go here and here.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Bienstein v. Attorney General [2009] FCA 1501, VID 13/2010, Settlement of Index, Freedom of Information Act 1982: request for access to documents - failure to make decision within 30 days - deemed refusal to grant access. Question: Whether Administrative Appeals Tribunal had the power to order that a decision be made?

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal currently has no scheduled sittings.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

22 February 2010

This week in Congress (22 Feb 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Exploring the Relationships Between Medication and Veteran Suicide, 1000 hours 334 Cannon House Office Building. The live webcast can be viewed here.

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sexual Assault in the Military - Part IV: Are We Making Progress, 1400 hours, 2247 Rayburn House Office Building.

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, Examination of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits Delivery at Discharge and Quick Start Programs, 1400 hours, Room 334 Cannon House Office Building. To view the live webcast go here.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommitee on Oversight and Investigations, Gulf War Illness: The Future for Dissatisfied Veterans, 1000 hours, Room 334 Cannon House Office Building. To view the live webcast go here.

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, Legislative Hearing on H.R. 3257, H.R. 3484, H.R. 3579, H.R. 3813, H.R. 3948, H.R. 3976, H.R. 4079, H.R. 4203, H.R. 4359, and H.R. 4469, 1400 hours, Room 334 Cannon House Office Building. To view the live webcast go here.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, Hearing on the FY 2011 Budget for Veterans' Programs, 0930 hours, 418 Russell.
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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

21 February 2010

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (22 Feb 2010)

[WARNING: SLOW WEEK]

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers, veterans or concern military justice issues, relate to freedom of information or national security, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

Parliament is sitting this week but there are no Committee hearings involving issues relevant to this blog.

High Court of Australia

The High Court is not holding any hearings until 2 March 2010.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

There are no pending cases which will be heard this week by the Full Court which concern issues relevant to this blog.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal currently has no scheduled sittings.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

17 February 2010

National Library of Australia selects Equal Justice for Troops blog for preservation

Earlier this month the National Library of Australia selected Equal Justice for Troops blog for preservation and will archive the blog on a regular basis. Go here to view the archive at NLA.

New blogger joins Equal Justice for Troops

We have a new blogger that has joined Equal Justice for Troops blog. Sean Flynn who is a solicitor in Queensland and also an officer in the Australian Army Reserve has joined the blog to write about Australian military and veterans issues.

The blog welcomes Sean!

15 February 2010

This week in Congress (15 Feb 2010) - Recess

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

The House and Senate are in recess until 22 February 2010. There are no scheduled hearings concerning military justice for veterans issues this week.

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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

14 February 2010

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (15 Feb 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers, veterans or concern military justice issues, relate to freedom of information or national security, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

Monday, 15 February 2010

Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee, hearing on Freedom of Information (Reform) Bill 2009 and Information Commissioner Bill 2009, 1000 hours - 1500 hours, Venue Victorian Parliamentary Committee Rooms G7 and G8, 55 St Andrews Place, Melbourne, Victoria. To view the submissions go here.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Joint Committee on the Australian Crime Commission, Inquiry into the adequacy of aviation and maritime security, 0915 hours - 1645 hours, Venue Clifton Suites, Level 6, 190 George Street, Sydney, New South Wales. To view the submission received go here.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The High Court is not holding any hearings until 2 March 2010.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Kowalski v. Repatriation Commission [2009] FCA 794, SAD 112/2009, Full Court Hearing, Issue: refusal to grant disability pension under the Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986 (Cth) in relation to depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, hypertension and ischamic heart disease - whether grounds of appeal relate to questions of law or questions of fact - whether grounds of appeal relating to questions of law amount to errors of law.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


Bienstein v. Attorney General, [2009] FCA 1501, VID12/2010, Freedom of Information Act case. Failure to make decision in 30 days - deemed refusal to grant access - whether Administrative Appeals Tribunal had power to order that a decision be made. [Settlement of Index.]

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal currently has no scheduled sittings.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

11 February 2010

New inquiry directed into HMAS Success sex betting book

A review of a grievance by a Royal Australian Navy sailor has led to Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston today directing that a fresh inquiry be made into a range of matters arising from equity and diversity issued on board the HMAS Success. This blog has previous discussed the HMAS Success sex betting book scandal here, here and here.

In a press release Houston said "I hae taken this decision following legal advise that the initial administrative inquiry is flawed due to bias. The flaws were identified during a review of a Redress of Grievance raised by a sailor involved in the initial inquiry. I am very disappointed that the inquiry was flawed; however, it is imperative that serious matters such as this are dealt with thorougly."

Defence Minister Senator John Faulkner told a Senate committee hearing today that he was "extremely disappointed that this inquiry has been found to be flawed. Last October Senator

Both Faulkner and Houston have indicated that a retired senior judge will be appointed to conduct a new inquiry. The judge's "terms of reference will be comprehensive and include a complete review of the circumstances surrounding the range of matters arrisng from the equity and diversity issued on board the HMAS Success" said Faulkner in prepared statement.

Chief of the Navy Vice Admiral Russ Crane weighed into the issue. "Ensuring that my personnel behave appropriately, ashore and at sea, is fundamental to the cultrual reform that I am driving as part of the New General Navy program. Equally important is my commitment to ensuring that all my personnel have access to a fair, robus and just inquiry system and that they are supported throughout the process," said Crane.

Defence is making no further comment about the issue at this time. Thus far the opposition has not issued any statements on today's hearing according to their website, which can be found here. Last October Senator David Johnston (Liberal-WA), the Shadow Minister for Defence, issued a press release criticizing the government's handling of the case. I've previously discussed that here.

07 February 2010

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (8 Feb 2010)

he following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

There are no scheduled hearings this week in Parliament involving military justice or veterans issues.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The High Court is hearing special application on 12 February 2010 in Sydney and Melbourne. But none of those applications involve military justice or veterans issues.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

No cases involving military justice or veterans issues are scheduled to be argued this week.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal currently has no scheduled sittings.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

02 February 2010

CBO issues cost estimate for H.R. 569

Today the Congressional Budget Office issued a cost estimate for the Equal Justice for Our Military Act of 2009, H.R. 569, which can be found here. The CBO estimates the costs to be less than $1 million each year.

Dwight Sullivan, on CAAFLOG.com, provided his thoughts on a previous CBO cost estimate concerning the Equal Justice for United States Military Personnel Act of 2007, S. 2052 in the last Congress. Mr. Sullivan's post can be found here.

Last month the American Bar Association weighed into costs of H.R. 569 in a two page letter addressed to House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. The ABA letter can be found here.

01 February 2010

This week in Congress (1 Feb 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Senate Armed Services Committee, testimony relating to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, 1200 hours, Room SD-G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building. Witnesses including Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Chairman of the JSC Admiral Michael Mullen, USN. To watch the live video web cast go here.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Health, Review of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Contract Health Care: Project HERO, 1000 hours, room 334 Cannon House Office Building. Live web cast can be viewed here.

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, Implementation and Status Update on the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act, P.L. 110-389, 1400, 334 Cannon House Office Building. Live web cast can be viewed here.

House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Military Personnel, testimony of Defense Task Force on Sexual Assault in the Military Services, 1500 hours, HVC 210.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Budget Request for FY 2011 and FY 2012, 1000 hours, room 334 Cannon House Office Building. To view the live web cast go here.

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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.