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Thursday, 11 April 1957


Mr Bryant t asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

1.   When is it proposed to proclaim the CourtsMartial Appeals Act assented to on 8th June, 1955?

2.   How many courts-martial have been conducted since that date in which the accused was found guilty?

3.   What steps is it proposed to take to ensure that the service personnel deprived of their right of appeal suffer no injustice?

4.   Why has the act not been proclaimed?


Sir Philip McBride (WAKEFIELD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Defence) - After consultation with my colleague, the Attorney-General, who is responsible for the administration of the Courts-Martial Appeals Act 1955,I furnish the following answers to the questions asked by the honorable member for Wills:-

1.   It is proposed to proclaim the CourtsMartial Appeals Act 1955 without delay after arrangements have been completed to appoint suitably qualified persons who are willing to act as members of the Courts-Martial Appeal Tribunal These arrangements are well in hand and will probably be completed within the next two or three weeks.

2.   The figures areNavy, 12; Army, 1,167; Air Force, 131.

3.   The interests of members of the services found guilty by court-martial are at present protected by the procedure which provides for findings and sentences to be reviewed before confirmation and by a right of petition against a finding or sentence of a court-martial either prior to or after confirmation of the sentence.

4.   The delay in proclaiming the Courts-Martial Appeals Act 1955 is due, in the first place, to the necessity to draft regulations to provide the procedural and mechanical provisions which are necessary to give effect to the act and in the second place, to the completion of administrative arrangements to ensure that the tribunal is constituted by those members who are best qualified and willing to act.







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