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  • EDUCATION

    Equipping students for moral argument

    • Frank Brennan
    • 30 September 2013

    Full text from Frank Brennan's lecture 'Law teachers as gatekeepers of law, public morality and human rights: Equipping our students for moral argument in a pluralistic legal environment' at the Australian Law Teachers Association Annual Conference 2013.

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  • RELIGION

    The Pope who put a spring in our step

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 September 2013
    11 Comments

    Fasten your seat belts. We are in for an exciting ride with this Pope. He's happy to make mistakes. He's happy to go with the flow. But above all, he is so happy in his own skin and in his religious tradition that he exudes the confidence that comes only from knowing that he is loved and forgiven, and not from thinking that he is always right and has all the answers.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Shaky grounds for just war in Syria

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 September 2013
    6 Comments

    The proposed military action against Syria lacks justification. Even if the cause for it were just, it would be vitiated by the lack of proportion between the limited good secured by it and the increased violence and sectarian division that will surely follow. That the strong should do what they can and the weak suffer what they must is real politik. But it should not be dignified with the name of justice.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Philosophy of falling

    • Ailsa Piper
    • 18 September 2013
    9 Comments

    Waters fall. So does night. We fall asleep, sometimes because staying awake is too painful. Soldiers fall, and we mourn them. They are boys, many of them, so fall-able. We fall into love, and out of it again, like it is some dark hole. We forget that love should be about rising, because we have fallen back onto cliché. We go through life as though we will always be upright, and when we fall, it hurts.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Election day reflections on religion in the public square

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 September 2013
    12 Comments

    How clever of you to choose the day of the federal election for me to offer these reflections.  I come amongst you, not as a publisher or journalist but as an advocate in the public square animated by my own religious tradition as a Jesuit and Catholic priest engaged on human rights issues in a robustly pluralistic democratic society.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    International law cannot justify attack on Syria

    • Justin Glyn
    • 30 August 2013
    7 Comments

    For the second time in a little over ten years, the US and its allies seem about to launch hostilities against an Arab country on the basis of the possession or use of chemical weapons. They have made clear that while they may seek a Security Council resolution, they do not consider themselves bound by it. This is worrying.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A Syria not so far away from our election

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 28 August 2013
    5 Comments

    A source quoted on a TV news report said the forthcoming Liberal Party attack ads would 'make the Somme look like a Sunday afternoon picnic'. Crass and disrespectful of the victims of the First World War killing ground, the remark saw fit to compare our political process to a mindless slaughter. Similarly, in Labor's Grim Reaper style ads, hapless 'victims' of Coalition policies are consigned to oblivion.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The distraction of red lines in Syria

    • Evan Ellis
    • 27 August 2013
    5 Comments

    In some ways the intense focus on chemical weapons and red lines is diversionary. Enough blood has been spilt to paint a thousand red lines. 100,000+ people have been killed already. Is it somehow easier on the International Community’s conscience to think of families being ripped apart by artillery shells than dying from chemical warfare? 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Torn by Chopper's inner torment

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 23 August 2013
    3 Comments

    Chopper's a racist, self-billed sociopath with acknowledged mental and physical health issues and a highly evolved if bizarre set of moral principles. A raconteur ever-ready to discuss the robbing, bashing, torture, murder and disappearance of various peers and colleagues. Yet he is also a man who recognises the damage done by the spiritual, emotional and physical abuse he took as a child.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The public, the Church, and asylum seekers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 13 August 2013
    1 Comment

    'Like many Australians, I had hoped that the dastardly plan announced on 19 July would stop the boats in the short term, as a stop-gap measure. It is dismaying to learn that appropriate consultations had not occurred with Indonesia with the result that the very people who were to receive the shock and awe message are yet to receive it. There’s only one thing worse than shock and awe; that’s shock and awe that doesn’t work because you haven’t done your homework.' 43rd Barry Marshall Memorial Lecture, Trinity College Theological School, 14 August 2013.

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  • RELIGION

    When mines and football clubs betray the common good

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 August 2013
    3 Comments

    The common good can seem a very milky-tea concept — too bloodless for the real world. But it is an important idea, one which we need if we are to make sense of phenomena as disparate as the findings on corruption in the awarding of mining licenses in NSW, the initial report of the NSW chief scientist on coal seam gas mining, and the daily excursions in the drugs and footballers epic.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Vulnerable are victims of the federal game of thrones

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 August 2013
    14 Comments

    If the last three years have been like the first three years of the First World War, now is the time for a final blitzkrieg. The treatment of people who seek protection in Australia is not simply one of many election issues. It is a measure of how far each political party will go, how much damage each will be prepared to do to Australia's honour, reputation, economic interests and relationships in order to gain and hold power.

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