Announcement of new Judge Advocate General for ADF

The Law Council of Australia congratulates Rear Admiral the Hon Jack Rush RFD QC RAN on his appointment to the position of Judge Advocate General of the Australian Defence Force (JAG) and Commodore James Renwick CSC SC RAN to the position of Deputy Judge Advocate General (Navy).

Their appointment follows the conclusion of Rear Admiral the Hon Justice Michael Slattery AM RAN term as JAG.

President of the Law Council, Dr Jacoba Brasch QC said, “Over the past seven years, while simultaneously undertaking full-time duties as a Judge of the NSW Supreme Court, RADM Slattery has performed his functions as JAG with evident distinction, as demonstrated by his annual reports to Parliament.

“One important achievement was his decision to direct publication of the results of Courts Martial and defence Force Magistrate trials which, as he explained in his 2019 Annual Report (para 74) brings ‘ADF practice into closer alignment with that of civilian courts and the armed forces of the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.’

“The new JAG, RADM Rush, is one of the most prominent lawyers in Australia, and is a former Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria President of the Victorian Bar Council and took silk in 1992.

“The new DJAG-N, CDRE Renwick, is a former Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, a Fulbright Scholar, an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University and took silk in 2011.

“The JAG and the three DJAGs (one for each armed service) play a vital role in maintaining confidence in the system of military justice established under the Defence Force Discipline Act.

“Military discipline in the armed services is vital both in Australia and on operational service overseas. In view of the creation of the International Criminal Court, an independent and properly operating Australian military justice system, together with the complementary jurisdiction of the civilian courts, ensures that accused Australian service personnel will only face charges in Australian courts and tribunals. The JAG and DJAGs help maintain confidence in the military justice system.

“The Law Council acknowledges the distinguished service of RADM Slattery and wishes the new JAG and DJAG-N well in their important roles.”

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