Australia’s military justice system

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is responsible for ensuring Australia’s national security.

This is no small task, and as such the ADF requires assistance from various organisations within the military justice system, as well as a number of external organisations.

On its website, the ADF identifies its partners and provides insight into how these organisations collaborate to defend Australia and its interests.


Organisations within the military justice system


Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force

The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) provides an independent audit and review of the military justice system, helping to address failures and injustice within the system.

This work ranges from conducting audits of ADF units, ships and establishments to inquiries into the conduct of police, and any other matters concerning the military justice system.


Office of the Director of Military Prosecutions

The Directorate of Military Prosecution (DMP) provides an independent prosecution service to the ADF, advising on serious matters which cannot be tried at the commanding officer level.

The DMP is designed to enhance the independence and impartiality of the military prosecution process under the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982.


Joint Military Police Unit

The Joint Military Police Unit (JMPU) assists ADF Commanders at all levels through the provision of law enforcement, discipline, command and mission support. It is expected that the JPMU will absorb the ADF’s General Duty policing capability by the end of 2019, aligning all ADF Military Police and providing a fully integrated Joint Policing Capability.


Directorate of Defence Counsel Services

The Directorate of Defence Counsel Services (DDCS) coordinates and manages the provision of legal representation for:

  • people facing trial under the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 (DFDA); and
  • entitled personnel appearing before Boards of Inquiry and Chief of the Defence Force Commissions of Inquiry

The Defence Counsel Services Panel is made up of more than 150 lawyers from Army, Navy and Air Force who provide legal representation.


Defence Legal

Defence Legal is a division responsible for the provision of legal advice and other legal services to the ADF, the Department of Defence and the Minister.


Army Fair Go Hotline

Although ADF members are encouraged to raise issues through their chain of command, the Army Fair Go Hotline provides another avenue of reporting unacceptable behaviour, including bullying, harassment, victimisation, verbal abuse or assault. Reports may remain anonymous.


External organisations

A number of external organisations assist ADF members with matters regarding the military justice system.


Defence Force Ombudsman

The Defence Force Ombudsman investigates complaints relating to the service of members and former members of the ADF. Ombudsman investigations are independent from action taken by ADF.


Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission

This Commission aims to protect human rights in Australia, with a particular focus on race, sex and disability discrimination, as well as the rights of Indigenous Australians.

This work includes policy and legislative development, holding public inquiries and assisting courts in resolving human rights breaches under federal laws.


Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Helps to meet the needs of the Australian community when it comes to the regulation of privacy and freedom of information. The Office has a hotline (1300 363 992) which can provide information about privacy issues that arise with government agencies.


The Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

This Tribunal hears and decides appeals relating to service offences by ADF personnel. Tribunal members consist of Federal or Supreme Court judges.

Nyman Gibson Miralis provides expert advice and representation in national and international security matters involving key military justice organisations.

Contact us if you require assistance.