2018 APCML Annual Report

The 2018 APCML Annual Report is now available on this website’s Publications page. The text of the Director’s Report is contained below:

Professor Bruce Oswald CSC

It gives me great pleasure to introduce this APCML Annual Report for 2018. The APCML has had another outstanding year of contributing to the better understanding of the role of law in planning and conducting military operations.

Our Military Node has been short staffed most of the year and consequently the Node’s staff have had to work overtime to ensure the Centre’s success. With this staffing issue it is all the more impressive to know that the Military Node delivered eight APCML courses to a total of 468 students from 39 nations (I think those are record numbers!) in
our Sydney facility at Victoria Barracks. To the number of 468 trained in Australia we can add a further 281 Staff College students that were trained in the Philippines. Our students came from: Egypt, Brunei, Pakistan,New Zealand, India, China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Fiji, PNG, Tonga, Timor Leste, Djibouti, Nigeria, Tanzania, Oman, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Jordan, Korea, Lebanon, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, FSM, Vietnam, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, UAE, US, Qatar, Samoa.

The Military Node’s work would not have been achieved without the assistance of the ADF Legal Officers who managed and coordinated our courses this year. I single out particularly Squadron Leader Anthony Erman (Command and Staff Operations Law Course – Philippines, and Cyber Law and Emerging Technologies Workshop); Major Sharon Ackman (Rules of Engagement Workshop); Lieutenant Commander Kent Browning (Maritime Operations Law Course and Maritime Security Cooperation Workshop); and Group Captain Enrico ‘Ric’ Casagrande (Law of Peace Operations, and Command Staff Operations Law Course – Sydney). My thanks to each of you for your dedication, professionalism, and for bringing your subject matter expertise to the Centre’s international military officer students in a way that is engaging and interesting. You have made military law accessible to a diverse, usually non-legal, audience.

The Military Node welcomed a new Business Manager in July 2018, Miss Navika Sewsunker, who has provided invaluable administrative management of the course finances and logistics.

Furthermore, the success of our courses depended on the support provided to us by International Policy Division (IP Div), Department of Defence; and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). My thanks to the staff of IP Div and ICRC for all their encouragement and support.

The University Node staff who presented on the APCML courses, my thanks to each of you as well. I know each of you sacrificed valuable time to contribute to the courses and the life of the APCML University Node. I remain grateful to each of you for your willingness to support the Centre’s vision.

The University has had four visitors this year – two from Australia, one from Germany and the other from Croatia. Each has contributed to the life of the Centre through their research and engagement. My thanks also go to those at the University Node who assisted in setting up, hosting, and chairing the roundtables, workshops and seminars at the Law School. The [email protected] Defence seminars, which were held at Defence Legal Canberra, and which the University Node organised were also very successful.

We were sad to farewell Mark Cunliffe PSM, Head Defence Legal and a member of our Centre’s steering committee. His vision of what the Centre could, and should, achieve has been central to the Centre’s success. His commitment to allocating resources to the Centre’s activities has ensured that the Centre has been able to undertake teaching, research and engagement at the highest levels. On a more personal note, I will always be grateful to Mark for his encouragement, support and willingness to assist me as Director. The Centre and I wish him the very best for his retirement and we look forward to seeing him at some of our events.

On 6 November 2018, Mr Adrian D’Amico was appointed Head Defence Legal. He completed a BEC/LLB (Hons) in 1988 at the Australian National University before joining private practice. Adrian spent 23 years in private practice, where he was a partner in two of Australia’s major private firms. Adrian joined the Department of Defence in August 2012. From 2000 to 2007, Adrian was a Canberra Partner of Phillips Fox, which later became DLA Piper, and from 2007 to 2012 he was a Senior Partner with Deacons. When Deacons merged with the private international law firm Norton Rose, Adrian became head of the Canberra Office. Adrian joined the Australian Public Service in the Department of Defence in 2012 when he was appointed Assistant Secretary Defence General Counsel. We look forward to working with Adrian.

Tim McCormack, the founding Director of the APCML and one of our principal academic members, left Melbourne Law School to become Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania. The Centre’s success today can be traced to Tim’s contributions to the Centre’s teaching, research and engagement. His vision was instrumental in establishing the Centre’s aims and programs. We wish Tim the very best in his new appointment.

Rain Liivojja, a stalwart of the Centre, left Melbourne Law School to take up an appointment as an Associate Professor at the TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland. Rain not only contributed to teaching, research and engagement at the Centre, but he also provided me with wise counsel and a great deal of assistance over my years as Director. His contributions to supporting the Cyber Law and Emerging Technology Workshop and the Command and Staff Operations Law Course in the Philippines were also greatly appreciated. He still works with us as an Honorary Senior Fellow and we are grateful to him for accepting this appointment.

We also farewelled Squadron Leader Anthony Erman last year. Anthony has taken up his posting with the United States Airforce at the Pentagon. He will be sorely missed at the Centre. We wish him all the very best in his new posting.

We are looking forward to 2019. Other than our suite of APCML courses, the University Node will host the ‘Respecting Military Law’ conference and workshop. Sir Adam Roberts from the University of Oxford will be the key note speaker for the conference, as the 2018 Sir Ninian Stephens Scholar at the Law School. He will be followed by the 2019 Sir Ninian Stephens Scholar, Sir Christopher Greenwood.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. I recognise that the Military Node sits on the land of the Gadigal Peoples of the Eora Nation, and the University Node is on Wurundjeri land of the Kulin Nations. I would also like to pay my respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who have contributed to the defence of Australia in times of peace and war, and who continue to make an important contribution to Defence’s capability.

Professor Bruce Oswald CSC APCML Director 2018