author: Justin Glyn

  • 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Murky law in Crimea land grab

    • Justin Glyn
    • 21 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
    • 22 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
    • 06 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
    • 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

    PNG solution at odds with international law

    • Justin Glyn
    • 23 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
    • 12 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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  • MEDIA

    Free speech beyond the pale

    • Justin Glyn
    • 08 October 2012
    23 Comments

    Free speech is fundamental to democracy because it protects public discourse and freedom of religion. But while the right to free speech must to be respected even if it causes offence, we need to question what purpose is served by Alan Jones' attack on Julia Gillard, and the French cartoons.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Squeamish over Scottish independence

    • Justin Glyn
    • 17 January 2012
    11 Comments

    The prospect of a referendum on Scottish independence from the UK evokes one of the more interesting tensions in modern international law, between the right to self-determination on the one hand and the territorial integrity of states on the other.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    War on terror is beyond the joke

    • Justin Glyn
    • 21 December 2011
    4 Comments

    The US Congress' proposals to allow indefinite military detention of its citizens without charge or trial, and America's ongoing use of unmanned attack drones to assassinate opponents, highlight anew the need for clear thinking when it comes to that much abused term, 'war'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Time to fix leaky nuclear treaty

    • Justin Glyn
    • 23 November 2011
    5 Comments

    Given the leakiness of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, it is scarcely surprising that Australia is not concerned about the possibility of breaching it in selling uranium to India. If the world is serious about developing real safeguards against nuclear proliferation, the treaty needs to be replaced, not ignored.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia flouting international law over refugees

    • Justin Glyn
    • 30 August 2011
    9 Comments

    By pursuing the refugee swap deal with Malaysia, Australia may be in breach of one of the most serious prohibitions in international law. This raises the question of what Australia's attitude is to other fundamenal norms of international law. This question goes well beyond issues of refugee protection. 

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