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The Twenty-Year Review into of the Office of the IGADF

A Submission by the Australian Special Air Services Association

General

The IGADF, Secretary of the Department of Defence and Chief of the Defence Force have jointly

appointed former Justice, the Hon Duncan Kerr Chev LH SC to conduct a review of the Office of the

IGADF. Mr Kerr’s terms of reference are to review the basis by which the statutory office is

established, and consider and make findings and recommendations, as appropriate, about the

functions, operation and composition of the office established to support the IGADF.

Mr Kerr will deliver his report to the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF), to

the Secretary and CDF by 31 March 2024


Term of Reference

The Terms of Reference would seem to afford limited scope for submissions on the conduct of the

Brereton Inquiry and appear focussed on specific aspects “...of the office established to support the

IGADF.” Those Terms of Reference in our view do give our soldiers grounds to raise concerns about

the IGADF and that is “...operation” of the office including the way in which staff of the office

or agents contracted or briefed through the office (such as counsel assisting) acted during the

conduct of that Inquiry.


We would encourage the Hon Duncan Kerr SC to be receptive to a wide construction of the Terms of

Reference so as not to be confined to the ordinary structural operation of the actual office rather

than the conduct of a particular inquiry. The very limited scope of the terms of reference of this

Review and the fact that it is to be provided (only) to the IGADF, the Secretary of the Department of

Defence and the Chief of the Defence Force, could work to limit the opportunity for widespread

concerns and complaints about the processes, procedures and conduct of the Brereton Inquiry to be

publicly aired and properly investigated. This risks the Review being perceived as an internally

orchestrated “cover up”.


There are legitimate and heartfelt concerns about certain aspects of the IGADF’s operation. This

Inquiry in our view should be broad reaching, accountable and made public. A secret report from

this 20 Year Review will fail to meet community expectations. If this Inquiry does not openly reflect

community and stakeholder concerns there may be calls for a specific inquiry with well-drafted

terms of reference designed to enable that to be done independently of Defence, the IGADF and the

CDF, reporting to the Parliament (i.e., Not simply to the Minister for Defence).





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