The Hon. Bruce Billson, MP
Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence

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05 Jul 2006




Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence Bruce Billson today announced two important military justice appointments that will further enhance the impartiality and fairness of the Australian military justice system.


In response to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee ‘Report on The Effectiveness of Australia’s Military Justice System’, the Australian Government agreed to establish a statutorily independent Director of Military Prosecutions (DMP) at brigadier rank.


“The statutory appointment of the DMP is a significant change which concentrates the prosecution powers once vested in 33 command-based convening authorities into a single independent authority,” Mr Billson said.


“This appointment will enhance the rigour, fairness and timeliness of military justice by removing perceptions of command influence.  It will also promote confidence among Australian Defence Force personnel regarding the independence and impartiality of the appointee and the functions of the Office.”


Mr Billson said the Minister for Defence has selected Lieutenant Colonel Lyn McDade to be appointed as the first Director of Military Prosecutions. 


“LTCOL McDade will be promoted to the rank of Brigadier and will hold the DMP appointment for a term of five years.  She will also transfer from the Army Reserve to full-time service,” Mr Billson said.


LTCOL McDade has 23 years’ military law experience gained through a mix of full-time and reserve Army service.  She also has extensive legal experience in the Northern Territory as a Civil and Police Prosecutor, Deputy Coroner, Relieving Magistrate and at senior levels in Courts Administration.  More recently LTCOL McDade has been practising as a Barrister-at-Law.


The second new statutory appointment is the Registrar of Military Justice (RMJ), to be appointed at colonel (equivalent) rank.  The RMJ’s primary function is to provide case management, trial administration and post-trial administration that are independent of the service chain of command.


Mr Billson said this appointment will help ensure a fair and timely military justice system, both for the current courts martial and defence force magistrate trials, and for the new permanent military court when it is in place.


“Lieutenant Colonel Geoff Cameron CSC has been selected by the Minister for Defence to be the first Registrar of Military Justice.  He will be promoted to the appointment as a colonel for a term of five years,” Mr Billson said.


LTCOL Cameron has served in the Army for nearly 20 years and currently holds the appointments of Director ADF Military Law Centre and Deputy Director Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law. 


He has also held a number of senior Army legal positions in Command and Divisional Headquarters and as a Junior Counsel to the Defence Force Advocate.  Prior to joining the regular Army, LTCOL Cameron was employed in NSW in the Local Courts Administration and as the Registrar of the Supreme Court, District Court and Local Court.  He has also sat as a Coroner and was admitted as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of NSW in 1989.


“I congratulate both officers on being selected for these important positions.  Their promotions and formal appointments will be undertaken at the earliest possible opportunity,” Mr Billson said.



Media Information:

Cameron Hill                                                 (Mr Billson)    03 9781 2333              0408 239 521

Defence Media Liaison                    (Defence)       02 6265 3343              0408 498 644


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