Rules of Engagement (ROE) are orders issued by the Chief of the Defence Force which authorise and restrict the actions the Australian Defence Force (ADF) can undertake in a specific operation, including regulating the use of force.

ADF commanders at all levels bear responsibility for ensuring forces under their command and control comply with ROE.

For security reasons, Defence does not release details of ROE.

Rules of Engagement are orders issued by the Chief of the Defence Force which authorise and restrict the actions the Australian Defence Force can undertake in a specific operation, including regulating the use of force. They are applied in alignment with Australia’s domestic and international legal obligations and with national policy.

ROE identify authorisations and restrictions for actions conducted as part of an ADF operation.

Together with other strategic and operational documents (orders and instructions), ROE provide a framework under which ADF members lawfully carry out their assigned missions and tasks.

They authorise ADF members to use appropriate force in circumstances where it is required to achieve the mission.
 

ADF members receive training on ROE at different stages of their career. ADF personnel receive specific training on ROE applicable to each operation as part of pre-deployment training and preparation.

Where ROE are amended during the conduct of an operation, ADF members are briefed on changes. ADF members are required to comply with the ROE, as they constitute orders for the purposes of the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 (Cth).
 

ROE for all ADF operations are subject to ongoing review. Where the situation on the ground changes, amendments to the ROE can be requested.

ROE are periodically reviewed at the strategic level to ensure their appropriateness for the strategic and operational environment, and the missions and tasks assigned to ADF members.

ADF commanders bear responsibility for ensuring forces under their command and control comply with the ROE.

Rules of Engagement for operations in Afghanistan

For security reasons, Defence does not release details of ROE.

ROE for ADF operations in Afghanistan were reviewed and updated on a number of occasions.

The ROE were revised as necessary, including to address changes in the operational environment and the level and complexity of the threat.