Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill- First Reading – Video 11
Articles,  Blog

Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill- First Reading – Video 11


I call Louis the warden our queen tonight we’re cured unearthed among royalty funny thank you very much for this opportunity as a member of the Foreign Affairs and defense Select Committee to speak on this first reading of the Military Justice legislation amendment bill I too would like to take this opportunity to fiercely congratulate the Honorable Ron mark this is his first bill as the minister of defense and I would like to acknowledge the Honorable Mark Mitchell who’s also a member of our Foreign Affairs defense and foreign affairs defense and trade Select Committee who’s also had responsibility for overseeing the passage of this legislation and to the house I firstly wanted to make a comment about the New Zealand Defence Force which contributes to the defence security and well-being of New Zealanders and we ensure that they’re well trained and equipped and I think through this piece of legislation we are also ensuring that as member members of our Defence Force they continue to have duties rights and responsibilities as citizens of our country and human beings because essentially what we are giving them access to our philosophies that actually reinforce their rights and responsibilities and not only their roles and the military I like to highlight that this is the the intention of this piece of legislation is to update the military justice system and to align it with the criminal justice system and certain respects including by enhancing victim Victims Rights but I specifically want to focus on the issue of the onus of proof and I guess the history behind it and so for me the reason I want to focus on the onus of proof really goes back to the history of military law and I hope the house will indulge me but in trying to understand how significant this piece of legislation and is and I believe it as minimum speaker I want to take us through a little history lesson in some ways because military actually traces its origins to the Baraga pocket of powers of rulers and it was developed from the Imperium of the magistrates and their capacity as commanders of military forces and so Roman historian Tacitus I hope I’m saying his name right 56 to 120 ad noted military justice was somewhat rough-and-ready and heavy-handed and raised are varied much within the individual commander and some 400 years later it was formalized in a giant digest and cotext of Imperia Justinian and it was really about the maintenance of discipline and to ensure it was enforced by ordinance or articles of war used by the sovereign or a commander authorized by the sovereign at the beginning of each campaign and so I tried to look at a campaign and found one and it was by the famed the well the Cromwell’s army was famed for its discipline in he had his army between 1645 and 1660 and it said that it was so famed for its discipline because the Articles that they created were vigorously enforced and so military law has always been about the discipline but also the compliance of those ordinances by the military personnel and so when we look at the whole issue of onus of proof actually in a civil context we are all innocent until proven guilty so there is a presumption of innocence within our civil criminal justice system and so the burden of proof is on the one who declares not the one who denies the legal right of the accused in a criminal trial is also reinforced by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is an article 11 the Trier effect judge or jury is restrained by law to consider only actual evidence in testimony present in court and I guess a corridor around military law has been that there’s been a such a perception that you were actually guilty until proven innocent and that kind of stems from the history that I outlined and so if you disobeyed an order there was a military justice system what happens within that system from what I’ve been able to ascertain was that one of your peers there was a sworn statement that said that they had knowledge of a crime that you had committed and that investigated that crime and then you were charged and so and then it led to not you met him speaker but the person who was accused and then that lead to a court-martial and the presumption of being guilty actually was premised on the fact that if you were innocent there wouldn’t be a trial and so we’ve completely invest what has been a long-standing tradition within the military and I think the focus also on victims rights speaks to what I said before so we knew serve and I remember of our New Zealand Defence Force you don’t lose your rights and responsibilities as a citizen and so I think this piece of legislation is incredibly important and has come as my colleague Roman Howe outlined from a review of the defence sector and it is something that we should be incredibly proud of I think that we should anticipate therefore that there will be some challenges possibly because if this has been about maintaining discipline and compliance then what we’re actually saying to the people who serve is that you also have a right to put up your hand if you disagree with something that’s happening and actually challenged those in authority and when we think about next year 100th anniversary of Armistice and that thing about peace and people who and some of our history were asked to serve our conscientious objectors who actually said I don’t want to I don’t believe in war I believe in peace and I will protest because I don’t think war and the activity of war is valid I mean from my perspective it also highlights those actions by our previous you know New Zealand citizens our fellow citizens who were in that context I guess drafted into a system that was about defending and protecting us so it opens up a whole other conversation from my perspective about about service about what security and well-being means for everybody and so as a member of the Foreign Affairs defense and trade subcommittee I look forward to hearing submissions on this bill I encourage people who are listening to think about making and submissions but I commend the bill to the house thank you I call Christopher pink thank you madam Speaker it’s a pleasure

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *