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Lay-off military prosecutor, warns Law Council

Lay-off military prosecutor, warns Law Council

The Law Council of Australia (LCA) has labelled criticism of the military justice system as unjust, calling for politicians and other parties to allow the independent prosecutorial process to…

The Law Council of Australia (LCA) has labelled criticism of the military justice system as unjust, calling for politicians and other parties to allow the independent prosecutorial process to follow its course.

The president-elect of the LCA, Alexander Ward, noted that the Director of Military Prosecutions (DMP) has been appointed to carry out her functions independent of both the chain of command and the government.

"It is not appropriate for anyone to seek to influence the process or undermine the important role of that office," Ward said.

Ward's call comes on the back of last month's decision by the independent Director of Military Prosecutions, Lyn Mcdade, to charge three Australian commandos.

The three soldiers face manslaughter and dangerous and dangerous and prejudicial conduct charges after six Afghani civilians, including five children, were killed during a raid that was aimed at capturing a senior Taliban leader.

The leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, military figures and media commentators have criticised the decision to charge the soldiers.

"The Senate review of the military justice system concluded overwhelmingly that an independent prosecutor is necessary to ensure procedural fairness to ADF members and it would not be in the interests of the armed forces to return to a prosecutorial system fraught with influence from the chain of command," Ward added.

Established in 2006 by the Howard Government, Ward said the Office of the DMP performs its role with the same independence as any civilian public prosecutor, which ensures the integrity of the process.

"The Law Council urges all parties to allow the DMP to perform her statutory functions without further interference and to allow justice to take its course."

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