As we previously discussed here and here, earlier this week the High Court of Australia declared that country’s military justice system unconstitutional.  Lane v. Morrison, [2009] HCA 29, __ C.L.R. __ (Aug. 26, 2009).  That ruling potentially invalidates 171 court-martial convictions pronounced since the current system took effect in October 2007.  Reportedly everyone who remained confined as a result of one of those convictions has been released.

Now Australia must adopt a new military justice system.  That is producing a fascinating conversation about fundamental matters, such as the balance between creating a system to protect good order and discipline versus ensuring justice.  While we often have such discussions in the United States, the conversation is obviously more urgent when a new system is under construction.  The discussion is also different than that which occurred in Britain following the European Court of Human Rights Findlay decision, because there a new system had already been adopted before the Court’s ruling — the ruling merely confirmed the old system’s invalidity under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Here’s a link to an op-ed from the Australian that reflects the ongoing debate.  And here’s an article discussing expected legislation to revise the Australian military justice system.

2 Responses to “Australia wrestles with creating a new military justice system”

  1. blah says:

    Man, bringing down the whole system as a criminal appellant must feel pretty freaking awesome. Well done indeed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    He put the SYSTEM on trial!!