25 Sep VIDEO & PODCAST | War and Democracy: who decides?
On 21 September International Day of Peace, SDN and the Australians for War Powers Reform hosted a public forum on War and Democracy: Who Decides?
In March 2003 the Howard Government involved Australia in an illegal invasion of Iraq. The consequences of that war continue to be disastrous for the people of Iraq and the Middle East. The Prime Minister was able to do this because in Australia the power to make that most grave decision, the commitment of the ADF into international armed conflict, rests with the Executive – often, in practice, the PM alone – rather than with the Parliament. Since 2014, further decisions for renewed military deployments in Iraq and in the bombing of Syria have been made, and in 2017 the crisis over North Korea further reinforces the dangers of such small group decision-making. We do not ask the right questions of ourselves or our allies regarding threats to Australia, the objectives of proposed military action, the likely human costs and how they will be met, the prospects of success or the legality. It is long since time for this to change.An outstanding list of speakers with in-depth knowledge of the process of going to war, and its consequences, will present and engage in discussion on this critically important issue.
Professor Gillian Triggs, Former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission
Paul Barratt AO, President of Australians for War Powers Reform, and former Secretary of the Department of Defence
Kellie Tranter, lawyer and activist
Chair: Professor John Keane, Director of the Sydney Democracy Network