International relations
Emerging Issues in Asia research
Emerging Issues in Asia research

Yesterday I trundled down to Murdoch University to sit once more in the Kim E. Beazley Lecture Theatre. It was the first time I’d caught the train on the Mandurah line, which would be enough to constitute a post all on its own. But the real reason to head down was to attend a round […]

Indonesian parliament claims a scalp

The real test of the maturity of Indonesian democracy might turn out to be nothing to do with how it handles an election, but what the parties do with the legislative power they received after that election. Those that provide critique of liberal democratic approaches to transitional constitutionalism – that is that merely instituting democratic […]

Australian realism and the Anglosphere

The keyboards got a solid workover this weekend as News Corporation journalists and columnists found themselves receiving a concerted scolding from online commentators across the country. Yes, yes, these bloggers are people generally poorly disposed to News Corporation at the best of times, blah, blah, blah, bias, blah. The point is, they’re giving the Australian […]

Tentative first steps or delaying tactic?

By Rewi Lyall With thanks to the International Commission of Jurists Australia, I’ve been provided with a few links concerning the news that last Friday the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) inaugurated a new ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). As various agencies have reported, the AICHR will have responsibility for promoting […]

Conventional arms trade treaty – towards less limited limitation?

By Rewi Lyall To date, treaties regulating the conventional arms industry have been largely limited to banning specific types of weapon, be that exploding bullets, chemical weapons and most recently landmines. Controlling the trade in more run-of-the-mill things like guns and bullets has only really been considered worth attempting in the past couple of years. […]

An Asian Union?

Readers may be aware of Prime Minister Rudd’s views that the creation of an Asian Union along the lines of the European Union would be a Good Thing. As a general principle, I agree. I like these kinds of supranational unions for many reasons, including that the harmonization of policies and laws has the capacity […]

Afghan election poses genuine challenge to interventionists

In an earlier post I adverted that I’ve come to be an adherent to a kind of atheistic ‘just war’ approach to multinational military intervention in the affairs of states. While I don’t intend, nor think it possible, to go into all the reasons why I think Afghanistan was/is a good example of this approach […]

Not counting on Copenhagen

For those of you who have been paying close attention to these events some of this may be overly simplistic and iterative, so apologies, sort of. In December, governments from around the world will send delegations to Copenhagen to discuss a potential multilateral approach to climate change caused by the activities of humanity (Anthropomorphic Global […]

Euroskeptics increase numbers in the EU parliament

A ridiculously low 43.4% of eligible voters (on a par with some of Australia’s better performing local councils where voting is voluntary) turned out last week to vote for candidates for the European Parliament. Criticism of national governments for failing to promote the elections misses the structural point of the EU: it has become, if […]

A time for war

This is, obviously, a huge issue and one that I’m not going to thoroughly cover in one post, but it’s pretty important to the consideration of other related subjects and so warrants initial discussion.  As a general principle, I am opposed to war. I’ve always considered myself a pretty pacifistic person, and have been known […]

Voluntary human shields

Last year a paper of mine was published in the Melbourne Journal of International Law. The paper was originally written for the ‘International Criminal Law’ unit I was studying for a Masters degree specializing in International Law at the Australian National University. The title of the article is ‘Voluntary Human Shields, Direct Participation in Hostilities […]


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