Operations Bastille and Falconer: Legal Support to Commanders
Australian Defence Force Journal, No. 184, pp. 33-39, 2011
9 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2013
Date Written: January 01, 2011
Much of what commanders do involves the management and balancing of risk. One such risk is legal risk. The following article discusses some of the legal challenges that were faced by the Australian Defence Force during Operations BASTILLE and FALCONER in 2003 (the coalition operations against Iraq) and the way in which commanders at all levels were supported by legal officers. This review of the legal issues dealt with in the planning and execution of air combat operations in Iraq in 2003 provides useful examples of how legal support assisted commanders to achieve operationally-favorable outcomes. This review also demonstrates that legal support must be accessible - from the squadron through to the strategic level; deployed and in rear headquarters; and in the single-Service, joint and coalition environments. By having legal support at all levels, the operation against Iraq in 2003 provides a good case study in how active management of legal aspects can produce favorable results for commanders. Rather than reacting to legal problems, commanders were in a position to influence the situation to enable maximum flexibility to execute operations.
Keywords: military operations, legal advice, legal officers, military lawyers, bastille, falconer
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation