The Charter of the APCML was drawn up in 2001 to facilitate cooperation amongst military forces of the Asia Pacific Region in the research, training and implementation of the laws governing military operations.

Read our charter


The Centre aims to promote greater understanding of and increased respect for the Rule of Law in all aspects of military affairs both within the Australian Defence Force and amongst militaries in the Asia Pacific Region.

To this end we:

  • Prepare and deliver training programs
  • Organise conferences, workshops, seminars and other activities
  • Promote academic research into key issues, including international humanitarian law, law of peace operations, international criminal law, and arms control & disarmament
  • Produce legal publications and materials
  • Centralise the accumulation and processing of legal lessons learned
  • Undertake and support initiatives to promote and improve the flow of information to legal officers
  • Participate in military exercise design and development
  • Develop relevant relationships within the Asia Pacific Region
  • Develop contacts and mutual exchanges with other academic/military centres and with leading subject matter experts
  • Provide support for deployments, particularly for peace operations


The APCML military node is co-located with the Australian Defence Force’s Military Law Centre (MLC) in Sydney. The Director of the MLC also serves as the Deputy Director of APCML supported by military and civilian staff of the Defence Legal Division.

The MLC is responsible for the provision of legal training to ADF legal officers and the wider ADF organisation, whilst the APCML provides a crucial link between the military forces of the Asia Pacific region and the academic and humanitarian communities. The APCML is responsible for:

  1. The coordination, formulation and delivery of the APCML’s core suite of courses;
  2. Involvement in the creation of legal lessons learnt doctrine produced by post military operation conferences and seminars; and
  3. Lecturing and doctrine development support to Military and Non Government Organisations and international organisations that may be involved in contemporary military operations.



Defence Legal Division is responsible for the provision of legal advice and other legal services to the ADF.

Approximately 100 staff members are based in the Central Office in Canberra, with approximately 100 legal officers and 30 paralegals based with Service Commands around Australia, on deployments or exchange postings overseas.

Defence Legal Division Central Office includes the Directorate of Operations and International Law (DOIL) which is responsible for the provision of strategic legal advice to the Department of Defence on operations and international issues. DOIL provides advice on legal matters affecting defence strategic policy and plans, operations, exercises and training, including the impact of international law, such as the law of the sea and the laws of armed conflict.

Contact Military Node.



 The Melbourne Law School is one of Australia’s oldest law schools, teaching law continuously since 1857. The Law School has maintained its reputation as one of Australia’s leading law schools with an innovative approach to teaching and research.

Since the establishment of the Australian Red Cross Chair of International Humanitarian Law in 1996, the Law School has developed Australia’s strongest graduate program in the Law of Armed Conflict and related subjects. The Law School has also developed Australia’s first dedicated graduate coursework program in Military Law covering the core areas of Military Administrative Law, Military Discipline Law, Military Operations Law and Advocacy for Military Lawyers.

Contact University Node.