Justice is needed for both victims of the April 2011 ADFA scandal

There continue to be two victims of last year's scandal at ADFA. Both also continue to deserve justice.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Letter to The Canberra Times
(not published)

Gary Wilson (letters, January 10) rightly worries about equal justice for both victims of last April’s incident at the Australian Defence Force Academy. 

The female cadet wrongly and dishonourably filmed, without her apparent consent, by fellow cadets she should have been able to trust. 

And the commandant wrongly stood aside, traduced and then denied natural justice by ministerial intervention that was unfair at least — and deeply improper according to most experts on administrative law and the principles of civil-control-of-the-military. 

Continuing civil court proceedings are providing the cadet with the normal opportunity for justice. Dependent on the outcome, administrative action by the defence force concerning those who allegedly filmed her is also likely. 

Her right to a potential ADF career also needs protection but reintegrating her into ADFA, at this stage, poses serious group dynamics difficulties.

Not least because many cadets naturally resent, and (however unfairly or not) blame her in part for, all the media sensationalism and untruths, the public hysteria and continuing confusion it spawned, and the trashing of all their reputations. 

Finally, the sooner the Minister apologises to the commandant and allows the CDF to reinstate him the better for all concerned.