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Specialist Medical Review Council (SMRC)
The SMRC is an independent statutory body that is able to review the decisions the Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) makes about Statement of Principles (SoPs). The SMRC will consider all of the material that was available to the RMA and any material that the review applicant wants to make available. There are no legal questions decided by the SMRC and no lawyers may address the SMRC. The SMRC decides whether it would have made a different decision than the RMA on the basis of the same sound medical-scientific evidence. Refer to sections 196V and 196W.
The RMA is a panel of five medical and scientific experts appointed by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs after consultation with the ex-service and veteran community.
The role of the RMA is:
- to determine whether there is sound medical-scientific evidence that links particular kinds of injury, disease or death with war or defence service; and
- to reflect the causal links in legally binding Statement of Principles (SoPs).
Statement of Principles means:
- a Statement of Principles determined by the RMA under section 196B of the VEA; or
- a determination made by the Repatriation Commission under section 180A of the VEA; or
- a Statement of Principles concerning a particular kind of injury or disease made available to the VRB by the Repatriation Commission under paragraph 138(2)(a) of the VEA.
- is consistent with material relating to medical science that has been published in a medical or scientific publication and has been, in the opinion of the RMA, subjected to a peer review process, or
- in accordance with generally accepted medical practice, would serve as the basis for the diagnosis and management of medical condition.
Information about how that kind of injury, disease or death may be caused must meet the applicable criteria for assessing causation currently applied in the field of epidemiology.
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