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Defence Legal Special Counsel

The Office of Defence Special Counsel (ODSC), within Defence Legal, was established in January 2015. 

ODSC provides legal services in relation to matters referred to it by the Defence Legal Executive. Referred matters are designated as strategic, complex, significant and/or highly sensitive.

Current referred matters are:

  • Legal issues associated with the Defence estate - the current focus is on providing support to the Defence National PFAS Investigation and Management Program
  • Civil claims for compensation by survivors of abuse
  • Support to Defence responses to the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

 The ODSC may also consider thematic legal issues and develop position papers for Defence Legal with the goal of promoting a consistent, whole of Defence legal approach to issues that have an impact on Defence business.

 ODSC is staffed by Defence Special Counsel (SES Band 1), a core team of three legal officers (currently one civilian and two military), an EL1 Issues Coordinator (non –legal), an APS6 Branch Manager / Research Officer and a Paralegal. Additional resources are allocated and/or sourced depending on the matters referred by Defence Legal Executive.