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Australian Defence Force Indo-Pacific Centre for Military Law (IPCML)

A regional centre of excellence in military law which supports a stable and secure Indo-Pacific region, a rules-based global order, and respect for international law.

To promote respect for the rule of law and compliance with international law in military operations through training, international engagement, and related activities with partners from the Indo-Pacific region.

The IPCML reflects the Defence White Paper’s focus on increased international engagement and training in order to promote a stable Indo-Pacific region and a rules-based global order. Training regional partners in military law aims to build confidence and capacity and promote the conduct of military operations in accordance with the law. This is an important aspect of Australia’s strategic interests, and our law and leadership role in the Indo-Pacific region.

The IPCML’s activities aim to make a positive contribution to security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region by promoting respect for the rule of law, and compliance with international law. The Centre’s objectives are to:

  • Deliver legal training courses and capacity building activities for military officers from the Indo-Pacific region so they are trained to conduct operations in accordance with the law;
  • Conduct workshops, seminars and other activities designed to operationalise the law, and explore topical military law and international law issues within a regional context;
  • Develop a panel of experts comprised of Australian and international academics and practitioners to provide instructional support, conduct research, and contribute to the ADF’s discourse on military law; and
  • Establish collaborative partnerships and maintain contacts through outreach initiatives with other military and government establishments, academia, international law bodies, and civil society representatives within Australia and overseas to encourage the mutual exchange of ideas and experiences, and to benchmark best practice in military law training.

The IPCML is located at Victoria Barracks, Paddington in Sydney, Australia.

IPCML Courses

The IPCML is responsible for the delivery of a number of training courses to support the education and training of our regional partners, and to provide professional development and engagement opportunities for Defence members. An overview of each course is provided below:

Command and Staff Operations Law Course
This course is designed to raise the awareness of commanders and their staff about key operations law issues that affect contemporary military operations. It aims to address key legal and operational issues that may impact on effective military operations across the full spectrum of operations.

Cyber Law and Other Emerging Technologies Course
This course provides an introduction to those legal issues related to cyber conflict and computer network operations, ranging from cyber espionage to cyber warfare, and other emerging technologies (eg, armed unmanned vehicles, autonomous weapons, nanotechnology and space). A key focus is on how military commanders, advisors and operational planners need to be aware of the impacts of new technology on planning and conducting military operations, and moral and legal obligations in this use of these new means and methods of warfare.

Law of Peace Operations Course
This course is designed to provide an introduction to the legal issues relevant to the creation and conduct of peace operations. It focuses on the legal basis for peace operations, consideration of use of force during peace operations, and uses case studies of both past and current peace operations to explore the key legal and operational issues in the planning and conduct of peace operations.

Maritime Operations Law Course
This course introduces participants to the law of the sea, maritime law enforcement issues, the law of naval warfare, and the application of legal principles to maritime operations. By exploring a number of case studies various maritime operations issues are explored such as use of force at sea, law of naval warfare, maritime disputes and Coalition and UN maritime operations.

Maritime Security Cooperation Course
This course provides a forum for Australian and regional military officers to develop a common understanding of the key international law principles governing maritime operations and to promote regional engagement within the Indo-Pacific.  The course is not a foundational level course, and participants are expected to have some experience with, and understanding of, the laws applicable to maritime operations. Contemporary themes are discussed throughout the course such as maritime law enforcement, maritime fisheries enforcement, counter piracy and use of force in the maritime context.

Rules of Engagement Course
This course provides participants with a sound understanding of the Rules of Engagement (ROE) process, the ability to use the San Remo ROE Handbook and to draft ROE for a wide range of military operations, with an emphasis on maritime and peace operations. 

IPCML Courses in 2020

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, all remaining IPCML training courses in 2020 that were to be delivered at Victoria Barracks Sydney have been cancelled. Overseas training and capacity-building activities to be delivered by IPCML Mobile Training Teams have either been cancelled or postponed until 2021.



Course Dates


Maritime Operations Law Course

Sydney, Australia

09 – 13 March 2020


JAG Workshop and Command and Staff Operations Law Course for the Armed Forces of the Philippines


07 – 22 May 2020


Security Operations Legal Training


08 – 19 June 2020

Postponed until 2021

Rules of Engagement Workshop

Sydney, Australia

22 – 26 June 2020


Command and Staff Operations Law Course


24 – 28 August 2020

Postponed until 2021

Maritime Security Cooperation Workshop

Sydney, Australia

31 August – 04 September 2020


Cyber Law and Emerging Technologies Course

Sydney, Australia

12 – 16 October 2020


Command and Staff Operations Law Course

Sydney, Australia

02 – 13 November 2020


JAG Workshop and Command and Staff Operations Law Course for the Armed Forces of the Philippines


12 – 27 November 2020








IPCML courses are aimed at officers (at the rank of Captain (or equivalent) to Colenel (or equivalent)) from regional armed forces and law enforcement agencies under the Defence Cooperation Program’s Joint Training Program.  However ADF officers and civilians from across Defence and other Australian Government agencies are also encouraged to nominate. The nomination process will be outlined in individual DEFGRAMS which will be issued approximately twelve weeks prior to the start of each course.

Click here to access the IPCML Training Handbook.

For further information, please contact

IPCML Workshop

Each year the IPCML invites leading academic, military and government representatives to its annual workshop. The workshop aims to discuss and promote current and future issues facing military operations.

2021 – ‘Means and Methods: The Future of Warfare’

The IPCML workshop on the theme of ‘Means and Methods: The Future of Warfare’ has been postponed to 2021. It will be held in Canberra, Australia at the Adams Auditorium, ADFA. The workshop will explore some of the key and pressing legal and operational issues facing militaries in the region, and how a deeper understanding of modern warfare and the means and methods of warfare is necessary to promote military operations.

To register your interest in the 2021 IPCML workshop, please contact A call for Expressions of Interest for the presentation of papers at the workshop will be undertaken by DEFGRAM and this website.


Indo-Pacific Centre for Military Law
Victoria Barracks Sydney, Building 113
Paddington NSW 2021
Postal: Indo-Pacific Centre for Military Law, Building 113, Locked Bag 7005, Liverpool NSW 1871
Phone: +61 2 8335 5633