Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 4 2012 Contents DLA Piper Review
THE Executive Summary of Volume 1 of the DLA Piper
Review into allegations of sexual or other forms of abuse
in Defence was released under Freedom of Information
processes on June 14.
In March, Defence Minister Stephen Smith released
redacted extracts from the Executive Summary and Key
Findings, Issues and Recommendations of Volume 1.
“The release of that material reflected the serious and
concerning nature of the Review’s findings,” Minister
“The release of the additional material underlines that.”
Following the ‘ADFA Skype incident’ in April 2011, a
large number of allegations of sexual or other forms
of abuse in Defence were made. In response to these
allegations, the law firm DLA Piper was engaged by the
then Defence Secretary, Dr Ian Watt, to review each
allegation methodically and at arm’s length from Defence
to make recommendations for further action.
The Review received communications in relation to
allegations of past abuse from more than 1000 people.
The Review has two phases:
Phase 1 (complete): All allegations of sexual or other
abuse and any related matters have been reviewed
to make an initial assessment of whether the matters
alleged have been appropriately managed and to
recommend further action to the Minister. Phase 1 also
considered systemic issues that will require further
investigation in Phase 2.
Phase 2 will review Defence’s processes for responding
to allegations of sexual or other forms of abuse and
make appropriate recommendations about any
systemic issues. Phase 2 will also oversee Defence’s
implementation of the recommendations of Phase 1.
“In October 2011, I received Volume 1 (General Findings
and Recommendations) and the first tranche of Volume
2 (Individual Allegations) of the Review’s report,” Minister
“On April 17 this year I received the full and final tranche
of Volume 2 (individual allegations).
“The Review received communications in relation to
allegations of past abuse from over 1000 people and has
identified allegations from 775 people which fell within
the Review’s Terms of Reference, the overwhelming
majority of which are said to be plausible allegations of
These involve allegations across every decade from the
1950s. The earliest date of alleged abuse is 1951.
“These allegations are deeply concerning and are being
treated very seriously,” Minister Smith says.
“The full Executive Summary released under Freedom
of Information laws provides further detail in relation
to the extracts previously released. The information in
the Executive Summary confirms that the individual
allegations, findings, issues and recommendations
included in Part 1 are serious and concerning.
“They involve complex and sensitive matters in relation
to specific abuses as well as systemic issues.”
The Executive Summary of the report outlines a range of
options which may be open to government to provide a
response to people who have made plausible allegations
of sexual assault or other abuse to the Review, including:
existing schemes or mechanisms for compensation,
such as bringing an action in the courts, seeking
compensation under the statutory compensation
schemes that cover Defence personnel or applying
for a financial payment under discretionary
new mechanisms by which eligibility for some
reparation might be considered, such as Royal
Commission, judicial inquiry, Parliamentary
committee or the appointment of a body similar to
the current Review.
The Review also identified options which might be
adopted to provide recognition for people who have
made plausible allegations of past abuse, comprising
public apology/acknowledgements, personal apology,
capped compensation scheme, facilitated meeting
between victim and perpetrator, health services and
The Review’s findings and recommendations are being
carefully and methodically considered.
The Chief of the Defence Force released a video
message, Defgram and signal regarding the release of
the Executive Summary of Volume 1 of the DLA Piper
Review on June 15. You are encouraged to review these
A copy of the Executive Summary of Volume 1 of the
DLA Piper Review can be found on the Defence website
Issue 4 2012
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