Bloody Oath! McBride case – does a officer lawyer’s public duty trump his military duty?

by Kim Wingerei | Nov 14, 2023 | Lobbyland

Day two of the case against whistleblower David McBride focused on the intricacies of oath keeping and the meaning of duty. A key decision on this matter is expected on Wednesday, at which time the case may be referred to the Court of Appeal.

It was never going to be a straightforward affair. Yesterday’s proceedings finished with McBride lawyer Odgers going well past the court’s allotted time, arguing about the nature of duty.

This is a key issue to be resolved. Where Odgers argues that David McBride’s public duty overrides that of his military duty, the Crown argues that his primary duty is to follow orders.

It’s an argument also central to the Nuremberg Trials after WW2, but there is no over-riding (Australian) authority to decide on it, hence the possibility of a referral to the Court of Appeal.

These deliberations were carried over to this morning’s proceedings, which were then adjourned until tomorrow at 10am when Justice Mossop will deliver his decision on the question of ‘duty’.

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Kim Wingerei is a businessman turned writer and commentator. He is passionate about free speech, human rights, democracy and the politics of change. Originally from Norway, Kim has lived in Australia for 30 years. Author of ‘Why Democracy is Broken – A Blueprint for Change’.

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