A joint system of summary disposals for the New Zealand Armed Forces of the 21st century : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Defence and Strategic Studies at Massey University
The vast majority of charges under New Zealand military law are tried or dealt with summarily by commanders. There are currently two summary disposal systems, one for the Navy and one for the Army and Air Force. Those systems, which have evolved separately in line with the separate origins of New Zealand's naval and military forces, have fundamentally different conceptual bases. The naval system is quasi-adversarial in that it projects the appearance of an adversarial trial in the ordinary sense of the term, while retaining some inquisitorial elements such as the wide power of the officer exercising summary powers to call and question witnesses. The military system on the other hand is entirely inquisitorial, with no prosecutor or defending officer. This thesis proposes a joint system of summary disposals, in the sense that it would apply to all three Services, which takes account of the demands of human rights law as reflected in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and adopts initiatives to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the existing systems.