War & Democracy ; who decides

Event Date: 
Thu, 21/09/2017 - 18:00 - 20:00
General Lecture Theatre The Quadrangle University of Sydney

Title:                   β€œWar and Democracy: Who Decides?”

Speakers:              Professor Gillian Triggs, Former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission

                            Paul Barratt AO, AWPR President and Former Secretary of the Department of Defence

                            Kellie Tranter, lawyer and activist

Chair:                   Professor John Keane, Director of the Sydney Democracy Network

On 21 September, International Day of Peace, Sydney Democracy Network and the Australians for War Powers Reform will host a public forum on democracy, decision-making and war. 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 decisionmaking. 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. To book click http://bit.ly/War21Sep