28 March 2011

ANZAC Centenary report issued

The National Commission on the Commemoration of the Anzac Centenary handed its final report to Government today, providing recommendations on how to mark the Centenary of the First World War 2014 – 2018.

To read the report go here. The submissions can be found here.

[Disclaimer: The Returned & Services League of Australia and its sub branches made submissions. I am member of the RSL and hold office within it.]

26 March 2011

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (28 March 2011)

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:

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee, Department of Defence's request for tender for aviation contracts and associated issues, 0815 - 1300 hours, Committee Room 2S1, Parliament House. Terms of Reference can be found here. Submissions can be found here.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Joint House and Senate Committee on Cyber-Safety, hearing on Cyber-Safety, 0900 - 1330 hours. The Terms of Reference can be found here. To review the submissions received go here.

High Court of Australia

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

No case are being heard today that involve the subject matter of this blog. However, to view a list of appeals being heard by the full court go here.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

Monday, 28 March 2011

Kowalski v Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission [2010] FCA 408, SAD56/2010. Appeal from decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal – where the AAT affirmed the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission’s decision rejecting a claim for compensation – whether Compensation (Commonwealth Government Employees) Act 1971 (Cth) applies – application of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) – consideration of whether gastro oesophageal reflux disease was caused or contributed to by employment – consideration of “material degree” test in relation to the definition of disease – errors in fact finding not errors on a matter of law as required by s 44 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) – appellant asserted procedural fairness was not afforded to him – no denial of procedural fairness – appeal dismissed

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal


The DFDAT next sits on 16 and 17 June 2011.

Veterans' Review Board


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

25 March 2011

Made in Australia: Ballistic plates for combat body armour

Ballistic plates for combat body armour to protect Australian troops can now be made in Australia due to the development of new manufacturing technology.

Today Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced the new technology during a visit to the CSIRO in Melbourne.

“Body armour is one of the most important elements of a soldier’s personal protection. It offers protection from ballistic threats like small-arms fire and fragments from improvised explosive devices,” Mr Snowdon said.

The ballistic plate inserted into body armour is made from an advanced ceramic material that is incredibly strong for its weight. The stronger and lighter the ballistic plate, the better protection it provides to soldiers.

New technology to manufacture the ballistic plates has been developed through a partnership between:

· The Defence Materials Technology Centre;

· Australian Defence Apparel (ADA);

· The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
(CSIRO); and

· The Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (VCAMM).

Australian Defence Apparel will soon be able to manufacture the ballistic plates at their factory in Bendigo.

Mr Clare said that most ballistic plates used by the ADF are currently imported from the United States.

“Manufacturing these plates in Australia has big advantages. It will allow for new technology to be prototyped quickly and for product development to occur in Australia,” Mr Clare said.

The Defence Materials Technology Centre is a not-for-profit company jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government’s ‘Defence Future Capability Technology Centre’ program, the Victorian Government, and industry and research body participants.

The Centre brings together defence industry, universities and government research agencies to develop new materials and manufacturing technologies that will enhance Australia’s defence capability.

23 March 2011

Aussies to face court-martial in Sydney

The SMH is reporting here that an 11 July 2011 court-martial date has been set for two Australian soldiers over a 12 February 2009 incident in Afghanistan where six civilians were killed. The charges range from manslaughter to failure to follow orders.

Brigadier Lyn McDade, Director of Public Prosecutions, has come under heavy fire within the defence community after she made the decision last year to charge three soldiers. Prior to 2005, the decision to charge a soldier with a crime was made by the chain of command. But Parliament changed that, in 2005, when it created an independent director of prosecutions to decided who try before courts-martial.

16 March 2011

Construction on new military law centre underway

Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney yesterday turned the first sod for the construction of a new purpose-built Australian Defence Force Military Law Centre at Victoria Barracks in Paddington, Sydney.

Senator Feeney welcomed the new Centre. The facility will house both the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Military Law Centre and the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law.

"This new Centre will bring the finest teaching and training to Australia’s Defence Force Officers and officers from around the Asia-Pacific region. It will build on the good work already achieved by the Centre over the past 10 years,” he said.

“The new Military Law Centre will also host the military node of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, a very successful partnership between Defence and Melbourne University which started in 2002,” Senator Feeney said.

These legal centres will train future ADF legal officers and other officers from the Asia-Pacific region in facets of military and international law. There will be a special focus on the rule of law. Over the last decade the role of the Military Law Centre has expanded to take into account the developing needs of the wider ADF. For instance, the Military Law Centre now delivers outcomes relating to legal training of generalist officers as well as specialist officers.

The purpose of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law is to facilitate cooperation among military forces of the Asia Pacific Region in the research, training and implementation of the laws governing military operations.

14 March 2011

U.S. and Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs research impacts of recent conflicts


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will collaborate with the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) on a new research effort focused on investigating the impact of recent conflicts on the health of returning Servicemembers.

“The health and welfare of those who have served our nation, and their families, remains the highest priority for VA,” said U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

"Joint research between the United States and Australia will shed light on similarities and differences with respect to the health effects of recent military deployments we have in common, such as Afghanistan,” he said.

The program will be conducted in three phases involving short, medium and longer-term comparative research.

In the first phase, scheduled for completion in six months, researchers will review previous studies on this topic which will help inform the final stages of the research collaboration.

Although both countries conduct their own extensive research on veterans’ health, this joint effort will allow both nations to take advantage of larger data sets and comparative analyses to learn best practices and treatments that can help returning veterans manage post-deployment health effects.

“While the Australian and U.S. military experience has differed, with both countries serving in different locations and frontlines, we can collaborate on reaching a common understanding of the impact of war on our service personnel,” said Warren Snowdon, Australia’s Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister for Defence Science and Personnel.

12 March 2011

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (14 March 2011)

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:

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, hearing on Combating the Financing of People Smuggling and other Measures Bill 2011, Committee Room 2S3, Parliament House, 0800 - 1200 hours. Further information about the inquiry may be found here. The submission received to date may be located here.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Joint House and Senate Committee on Cyber-Safety, hearing on Cyber-Safety, 0830 - 1000 hours. The Terms of Reference can be found here. To review the submissions received go here.

High Court of Australia

No case are being heard this week that involved the subject matter of this blog.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

No case are being heard this week that involved the subject matter of this blog.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal


Thursday, 17 March 2010

Still awaiting from DFDAT for a list of cases to be heard. (Will update this post when I hear back.)

Friday, 18 March 2010

Still awaiting from DFDAT for a list of cases to be heard. (Will update this post when I hear back.)

Veterans' Review Board


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