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Inspector-General ADF Afghanistan Inquiry

Ruling on a complaint concerning conduct of a lawyer said to be working for the inquiry.

Summary

The IGADF Afghanistan Inquiry has, after a thorough investigation, dismissed a complaint made by Mark O’Brien Legal, a law firm acting for Mr Ben Roberts-Smith, VC, MG, that a lawyer said to be working for the IGADF Afghanistan Inquiry had made a statement in a social context that was defamatory of and exhibited bias against him.

On 28 June this year, Mark O'Brien Legal wrote to the Inquiry alleging that a lawyer working for the Inquiry had made comments in a social setting that demonstrated bias against their client Mr Ben Roberts-Smith, VC, MG, and impugned his reputation.

All lawyers and other persons working for the Inquiry were questioned and denied having made any such comment. Given the seriousness of the allegation and that it had been aired in public, Major General Brereton, who is conducting the Inquiry, decided that it was essential to undertake a full and thorough investigation, in order to ensure the integrity of the Inquiry process, and maintain the confidence of the public and all witnesses and potentially affected persons in the Inquiry.

After thorough investigation, on all the evidence obtained, Major General Brereton found that the allegations in the complaint are unsubstantiated, and in particular, there is no evidence that any lawyer or other person working for or associated with the Inquiry made any statement to the effect alleged or to like effect, and there is no evidence that any lawyer or other person working for or associated with the Inquiry has breached any obligation of confidentiality in the context referred to in the complaint.

In his reasons, Major General Brereton observed that the conclusion that the complaint is unsubstantiated involves no adverse reflection on Mr Roberts-Smith’s character or credibility.

The full reasons may be accessed at IGADF Afghanistan Inquiry - Ruling on a complaint.