Section 2
Health and effectiveness of the Military Justice System

2.1 Overview

Assessment of the health and effectiveness of a complex subject such as military justice is not an exact science. While certain key elements of it can be measured, inevitably judgements made about the effectiveness of the system rely heavily upon opinions formed and perceptions recorded. IGADF is well placed to undertake such an endeavour. The role and functions performed by the office of IGADF provide a wide range of relevant material from which informed assessments about the overall effectiveness of the system may be made.

As mentioned elsewhere in this report, JADHE will become the primary performance measurement tool over time. JADHE data integrity (completeness and accuracy) will be significantly enhanced later in 2008 with full introduction of the Complaint Management, Tracking and Reporting System (ComTrack). Developed under the auspices of Fairness and Resolution Branch, ComTrack will provide a case management and statistical data retrieval system for applications for redress of grievance (ROG), unacceptable behaviour complaints, alternative dispute resolution and submissions to IGADF. ComTrack, in combination with JADHE, will not only satisfy a number of ROG Review recommendations, but will also provide the ADF with an effective tool to assist with the performance measurement of the health and effectiveness of its military justice system.

This report draws on all available sources, objective and subjective, using tables, graphs and narrative to convey IGADF’s best assessment to the reader. It is expected that in the future more reliance will be placed on survey results. In the near term Defence Attitude Survey 2008 and its triennial military justice supplement in particular will no doubt be a most useful and informative additional resource. The military justice supplement, first conducted in 2003, was last conducted in 2005, just prior to the commencement of the 2005 Senate Committee report implementation. 2008 survey results, expected to become available in early 2009, should provide ADF senior management with useful data on the effectiveness of military justice reforms as perceived at ‘grass roots’ level.

The remainder of this section is based on conclusions drawn from the 63 audits conducted during the period and focus group discussions with 2850 participants.
This will be followed by detailed reporting and analysis of objective or ‘hard’ data against each of the four military justice elements.

General conclusions from focus group discussions. No significant departures from conclusions reached in previous years were evident in 2007-08.

Focus group survey result analysis of the past two years indicates no change or an improving trend across issues surveyed. These incorporate issues directly related to military justice and other indicators with a definite potential impact on military justice. Based on 2370 respondents in 2006-07 and 2850 respondents in 2007-08, notable positive shifts in perceptions are in:

The four components of military justice: discipline, adverse administrative actions, the conduct of administrative inquiries and the right to complain are addressed individually below.