Author: Justin Glyn

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Nation building by force in Ukraine and the Middle East

    • Justin Glyn
    • 27 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
    • 21 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
    • 14 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
    • 21 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
    • 24 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
    • 26 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Murky law in Crimea land grab

    • Justin Glyn
    • 20 March 2014
    6 Comments

    While pro-Russian and pro-Western media have been spinning the Crimea crisis as either a heroic exercise in righting a past wrong or a land grab by a new Hitler, the legal position is far from straightforward, and there is more than enough hypocrisy to go around. The Crimean issue is perhaps best analysed not through the prism of international law but rather that of age-old great power politics.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The war on asylum seekers

    • Justin Glyn
    • 21 January 2014
    32 Comments

    The current dispute with Indonesia over border incursions by the Australian Navy is symptomatic of a deeper problem — the militarisation of political discourse. Von Clausewitz famously claimed that 'war is politics by other means': in other words, that military force is employed in service of political ends. In Australia, as elsewhere in the West, this is being taken to an extreme not previously seen outside authoritarian societies.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    ASIO's economic espionage

    • Justin Glyn
    • 05 December 2013
    15 Comments

    The recent revelations that ASIO raided the offices of Timor Leste's lawyers and detained its star witness just before its case against Australia highlights, once again, the question of the linkage between national and commercial interests. ASIO's governing statute does not permit it to engage in economic espionage. Unfortunately, the distinction between government and commercial interests is growing increasingly hard to draw.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    International law cannot justify attack on Syria

    • Justin Glyn
    • 29 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

    PNG solution at odds with international law

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 July 2013
    13 Comments

    The PNG solution includes permanent exclusion from Australia in a small, poor and violent country already unable to accommodate the refugees from West Papua whom it hosts. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus claims it complies with international law. A quick glance at the much put-upon Refugee Convention suggests this is may be a rather optimistic assessment.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Does mining cost more than it's worth?

    • Justin Glyn
    • 11 February 2013
    15 Comments

    While mining is a source of great wealth for Australia, its socio-ecological benefits are mixed. Yet the sheer power of the industry means a balanced conversation on these issues is yet to start. Both major parties are beholden to the industry and fear the advertising power its money can buy. Two examples demonstrate the problem.

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