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The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr. Alan Shatter T.D welcomes the selection of Mr. Michael Campion as military judge for the Defence Forces.

3 July 2012

The Government today approved the appointment of Mr. Michael Campion as military judge for the Defence Forces. Mr. Campion will be appointed as a Colonel in the Permanent Defence Force with effect from 4 September 2012 for the purpose of taking up the appointment as military judge.

Minister Shatter said that “This is the first military judge to be appointed following an open competition run by the Public Appointments Service. Prior to 2011, the post of military judge was only open to qualified officers with the Permanent Defence Force. This represents a major milestone in the modernization of the military justice system and I very much welcome his appointment. Mr. Campion brings to the position of military judge wide ranging legal experience combined with a knowledge of the Defence Forces. I congratulate him and wish him every success in his new role in the Permanent Defence Force.”

Mr Campion was educated at St Benildus College Dublin, UCD, and the Law Society of Ireland. He was enrolled as a Solicitor in 1986 and has conducted a wide ranging legal practice based in Dublin. Mr Campion qualified for admission to the New York Bar in 1989 and also holds a post graduate diploma in European Law. Since 2006 he has served as a chairperson of the Mental Health Tribunal. He was also previously a member of the Criminal Legal Aid Panel.

He was commissioned as an officer in the FCA in 1989 and currently serves with the rank of Captain in the Reserve Defence Force. Arising from his appointment as Military Judge he will resign his commission in the Army Reserve.


[Note for Editors]

The Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 provided for the appointment by the President, on the advice of Government of a qualified officer of the Permanent Defence Force to be a military judge. This provision was further extended in the Defence (Amendment) Act 2011, which provides for an officer or a qualified person other than an officer of the Permanent Defence Force to be a military judge.

The function of the military judge is to preside at courts martial and such other judicial functions as may be prescribed. To be qualified for appointment as a military judge an individual must be a practising barrister or a practising solicitor of not less than 10 years standing. The appointment is in the commissioned officer rank of Colonel in the Permanent Defence Force and is subject to the terms of Chapter IVC of Part V of the Defence Acts 1954-2011.

Mr. Campion is married to Angela Becker and they have four children Edward (17), Hugh (14), Michael (11), and Reine (4).

He is the son of Col. Ned Campion and Mrs Eva Campion. His father is a former Commanding Officer of the Army Equitation School, international showjumper and Chef d’Equipe of the Irish showjumping team.

The previous Military Judge, Colonel Anthony McCourt, retired on 21 July 2010. No court-martials took place since his retirement up to the appointment of Judge John D. O’Hagan who was temporarily designated to perform the functions of a military judge for the period 6 to 20 June 2012.

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