Review of the Summary Discipline System 2017

The Chief of the Defence Force conducted a review of the Summary Discipline System (SDS) to address issues and recommend a model of summary discipline that is fair and easy to use for all personnel and trusted by the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The review found the SDS was overly complex and difficult to use. As a consequence of the complexity, many commanders across each of the Services have little confidence in using the SDS.

Key findings:

  • Day-to-day command management and oversight of the SDS is essential. This responsibility needs to extend downwards from commanders at all levels within the ADF.
  • The application of criminal justice principles is overly complex and not conducive to an effective and efficient summary discipline system. The result is that often the military disciplinary effect of summary proceedings is lost because of complexity and excessive delay.
  • There is a lack of coordinated, ongoing and timely training and education to support Defence Force community in understanding and using the SDS. The recommended SDS and enhanced Discipline Officer regime will lessen the complexity of the training.


Review of the Summary Discipline System 2017 (PDF, 2.19 MB)