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www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS May 23, 2013
CAPT Scott Ritchie
Director Military Discipline Law
IF an authorised officer suspects, on
reasonable grounds, that a member has
committed a service offence under the
Defence Force Discipline act 1982
and orders an investigation, they may
suspend the member from duty for the
period of the investigation.
a member who is charged with a
service or civil offence may also be
suspended from duty.
If convicted of a service offence,
members may be suspended from duty
pending review of the decision of a ser-
vice tribunal by a reviewing authority.
Generally, a suspension imposed
on a member ends only when a charge
does not continue or is abandoned, the
proceedings are terminated or when an
However, if an investigation results
in the member being charged the sus-
During the period of suspension,
the member is not required to perform
their duties and can only be paid when
permitted by the authorised officer and
when the suspension has not occurred
as a result of an investigation.
The authorised officer may permit
payment when the member has suf-
fered, or is suffering, hardship as a
result of being suspended.
When a member is not being paid
by the aDF as a result of being sus-
pended from duty, they may choose
to engage in employment outside
Duty suspension APRIL TRIAL RESULTS
Defence Force Magistrate
One charge of theft
DFDA s 47C
One charge of signing a false service document
DFDA s 55(1)(a)
The member was accused of obtaining funds from a person
or organisation when not authorised to do so and signing
a service document verifying a false amount relating to the
funds. The member pleaded guilty to all charges and was
found guilty of all. The member was reduced in rank, forfeited
seniority, required to pay reparation of $11,427 (paid in fort-
nightly instalments of $100) and required to undergo deten-
tion for 90 days (first charge) and 28 days (second charge).
General Court Martial
One charge of suppressing a service document
DFDA s 55(1)(d)
Three charges of making false entry in a service docu-
DFDA s 55(1)(b)
Two charges of making away with a service document
DFDA 55(1)(d) (1 in the alternative)
The member was accused of making false entries and
suppressing and removing service documents relating to
detainees. The member pleaded not guilty to all charges. The
member was found guilty of two charges of making a false
entry in a service document. The member was reduced in
rank and forfeited seniority.
Defence Force Magistrate
One charge of prejudicial conduct
DFDA s 60(1)
The member was accused of making an inappropriate com-
ment to another member. The member pleaded guilty and
was found guilty. The member was severely reprimanded.
Note: All Court Martial and Defence Force Magistrate trial results are
subject to command review and appeal. The results indicated are of
trials across the ADF.
SUSPENDED: A member may be suspended from duty if they are under investigation,
charged with or convicted of a service or civil offence.
Photo: LSIS Helen Frank
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