Author: Justin Glyn

  • AUSTRALIA

    Excising the Rule of Law

    • Justin Glyn
    • 21 April 2015
    15 Comments

    When the term 'Rule of Law' was coined in the 19th century, it included a reasonable conduct stipulation to ensure fairness. A bill currently working its way through Federal Parliament would give those working in detention centres a low threshold in the use of force against detainees. The criterion of reasonableness of the officer’s conduct would be replaced by what an officer believes is reasonable.  

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Diplomatic lessons for Julie Bishop in Tehran

    • Justin Glyn
    • 15 April 2015
    12 Comments

    There are few things less palatable – or likely to persuade others to see your point of view – than public humiliation. This week, as Julie Bishop visits Tehran, there are already some signs that these lessons may not have been well learned. If Australia really wants to make a positive difference in the Middle East, it would be better to listen carefully to the many voices than try to push its tired and cruel demands for the boats to stop and for the world to be remade in its own image.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Paying tribute without creating war narratives

    • Justin Glyn
    • 24 March 2015
    9 Comments

    The emotional parades welcoming troops home from the end of 'Operation Slipper' in Afghanistan leave us contemplating the horrific effects of war on veterans and their families. It is absolutely right, indeed imperative, that we grieve with them and count the costs. In doing so, however, we should beware the danger of selective empathy.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Unmasking Australia's boat-stopping deal with the Sri Lankan devil

    • Justin Glyn
    • 25 February 2015
    4 Comments

    Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has claimed Australia's silence on the country's appalling human rights record was the price for its government taking extra measures to prevent people fleeing the country and arriving in Australia on boats seeking asylum. This is a problem on many levels, including our government's seeking to remove human rights issues by reframing them as national security ones.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    We are all bigots

    • Justin Glyn
    • 19 January 2015
    18 Comments

    According to large sections of the media, 'we' are all Charlie now. While it is absolutely right that we stand with the victims and their families in grief and outrage at the terrible acts that took place in Paris earlier this month, predictably we have been told that we should, as a corollary, also defend people’s rights to say what they like, no matter how hurtful it may be. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Putting Putin's record into perspective

    • Justin Glyn
    • 17 November 2014
    17 Comments

    Amid talk of whether Vladimir Putin would leave the G20 early and numerous reports of frosty encounters between him and other summit leaders, Western media coverage has portrayed him as an erratic and dangerous dictator whose rule damages the once-great country he leads. But it would be foolish to pretend that the West did not take advantage of the weakness of the former Soviet states in the 1990s. Russia was looted of its assets, many of which found their way abroad.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Nation building by force in Ukraine and the Middle East

    • Justin Glyn
    • 28 October 2014
    2 Comments

    Syria and Ukraine are just the latest in the roll of civil wars where ossified Cold War rivalries exacerbate conflicts and prevent the forging of a just peace which is in all parties’ interests. Current insurgencies grew out of disenfranchisement. But the relevant powers have declined to involve United Nations to act as independent broker, knowing that each party has the support of a permanent member of the Security Council, whose veto will hamstring any proposed action by the others.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sacrificing freedoms in the war against terror

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 September 2014
    7 Comments

    Terrorism is a real threat but it is hardly a killer on the scale of coronary heart disease or accidental falls, both of which far outstrip terrorism as killers on Australian Bureau of Statistics data. Blanket rollbacks of important civil liberties, until recently taken for granted, cannot but provoke the suspicion that terrorism has become a diversion of the public's attention from something much more sinister.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Sovereign aspirations and political power games

    • Justin Glyn
    • 15 September 2014
    2 Comments

    The problem of who qualifies as a 'people' and what the content of the right is becomes particularly acute when the right to self-determination bumps up against that bedrock of international law, national sovereignty. In some cases, the problem goes away by agreement. The sad truth is that each side adopts the rhetoric that suits it and the result depends on the balance of political powers which each can muster. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Beware of political posturing after MH17 tragedy

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 July 2014
    13 Comments

    The horror of the crash that killed 298 people was not a day old before blame was being vigorously assigned by all sides. Not only is this deeply unhelpful and disrespectful, it obscures the fact that, whatever actually happened, a terrible tragedy is at risk of being compounded by the hot-heads on all sides calling for more war and escalation of a conflict in which both Russia and the United States have acted with rank opportunism.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's hypocrisy in Greste verdict protest

    • Justin Glyn
    • 25 June 2014
    10 Comments

    Australians are understandably shocked at the sentencing of Peter Greste in Egypt. They may wonder what the Government can do for those caught up in the vagaries of a foreign legal system. The answer is, not much. The international order is still largely based on national sovereignty. We do not need to look to Egypt to see how this can allow a multitude of injustices to go unpunished — we need only ask our neighbours, the Indonesians.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Government blasé on Australian drone deaths

    • Justin Glyn
    • 27 May 2014
    13 Comments

    While recent weeks have been taken up with thinking about the Budget's disproportionate impact on poorer Australians, another, more spectacular, area of government disregard for the lives and rights of its citizens has gone relatively unremarked. It goes to the heart of democracy, revealing not only the distance between Western governments and their citizens, but also the acceptance of that gulf as a fact of modern political life.

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