Friday, May 20, 2016

There to serve

Photo / Michael Cunningham, Northern Advocate
By Michael Cunningham,
The Northern Advocate
Naval Commander Philip Wiig was found guilty of indecent assault this week by a court martial following an incident where he groped a subordinate's backside at the Devonport Naval base's bar four years ago.
There was a former senior MP who did the same thing at a Press Gallery Christmas party a few years back and it's remained under the radar, essentially because the groped, offended woman didn't want to cause a fuss.
The notion of her laying a complaint with the police never entered her head. That's one of the differences between military and civilian life. With the military it's called 'discipline' with civilians it's called 'yeah-nah'.
But is appearing before your peers at a court martial anachronistic?
Prissy Peter Dunne says it is. Courts-martial, he says, are a hangover from wartime situations where maintaining discipline is paramount. The military's the only service organisation that tries its own members.

The writer concludes they serve a purpose and should be extended to civilians--really?
Perhaps court martials are the answer then - and rather than being scrapped, the principle should be extended.
By Lawrence Smith Fairfax, NZ reports that:
A senior Navy commander who repeatedly groped a subordinate's buttocks has been dismissed from service.
Commander Philip Wiig​ was found guilty of one charge of indecent assault following events that happened after a function on board the HMNZS Canterbury on May 17, 2012.

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