Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel

LABOR REFERS PROPOSED CHANGES TO AUSTRALIA'S MILITARY DISCIPLINE SYSTEM TO SENATE INQUIRY

September 02, 2021

JOINT RELEASE WITH SENATOR KIMBERLEY KITCHING 
DEPUTY MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS IN THE SENATE 
DEPUTY CHAIR OF THE SENATE FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE LEGISLATION COMMITTEE 
SENATOR FOR VICTORIA



The Defence Legislation Amendment (Discipline Reform) Bill 2021 passed the House of Representatives last night with Labor’s support. 

The Bill introduces amendments to the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 aimed at streamlining and modernising the current military discipline system.

Labor does not want to stand in the way of genuine reform, however we want to ensure that the military justice system is fair and effective, and the proposed changes balance the following twin objectives: 

  • First, they must ensure that the ADF’s operational needs for effective and efficient discipline are met. 
  • Second, they must uphold objective and independent standards of justice that the public has confidence in, protect the rights of ADF personnel and ensure fair treatment.

To that end, Labor has moved to refer the Bill to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee for a short inquiry to ensure proper scrutiny and stakeholder consultation, and to help clarify the consequences of the amendments.

The Committee has called for submissions by 17 September 2021 and will report back by 14 October 2021. 

All interested individuals and organisations are encouraged to make a submission to the inquiry.  

More information on the inquiry, including on how to make a submission, is available on the Committee’s website: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Foreign_Affairs_Defence_and_Trade/DisciplineReformBill 

Labor will come to a final position on the legislation in the Senate when we have seen the outcomes of the Senate inquiry.

WE'LL PUT PEOPLE FIRST