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“What the politicians have to do is to ensure that those who are willing to die for our country are at least entitled to the presumption of innocence .” – Prof David Flint

THERE couldn’t be a more important duty for federal politicians than the defence of this realm, Australia.

Why then do they seem so determined to run down morale in our defence forces?

Why, in running a four-year long investigation into allegations about our soldiers in Afghanistan, were certain journalists allowed special access? And instead of keeping the report private until after any prosecutions were heard, why did the Prime Minister seem to prejudged the issues by announcing that it will contain, “brutal truths… which will constitute difficult and hard news for all Australians.’’

And why wait until now to appoint yet another lawyer supported by a legal team to investigate for some ‘’indeterminate time’’ before deciding who to prosecute. How much longer do politicians plan to torture Australian soldiers who are presumed innocent? And sadly, how many more young men under this unending pressure may well decide to end it?

Yet not only is our biggest defence contract for what many experts think will be a dozen obsolete Turnbull-Pyne diesel submarines, some will not be delivered in time the review the fleet for the 2045 Centenary of the Second World War.

Meanwhile, the politicians seem intent on turning the armed forces into some social laboratory. From the selection criteria, you would think the very last people they want as soldiers are strong young men.

There’s a history of our soldiers putting up with more than fighting in foreign wars, as noted in Spectator Australia of 21 November 2020

The best way the politicians can fulfill their role of defending the realm is first, maintain the American Alliance, second, ensure our forces are well armed compatible with that Alliance, third, maintain and certainly not continue to who have undermine morale and fourth, encourage enlistment.

At the very least the politicians must ensure that , like everyone else, soldiers are entitled to the presumption of innocence and not to be subject to endless investigations.

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Professor David Flint is an emeritus professor of law and was chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority and the Australian Press Council, president of the National Federation of the English Speaking Union, Associate Commissioner with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and convenor of the Committee of Australian Law Deans. He has been National Convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy since the 1999 referendum campaign. The author of several books, he has published widely on topics such as the media, international economic law and on the Constitution. At Barcelona in 1991, he received a World Jurist Association award as World Outstanding Legal Scholar. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1995.

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