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australia & breaching internaional law

  1. gaweb

    2,154 Posts.

    listen to the full story; http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/s769471.htm

    here is a summary:

    Uniltateral strike risks ICC action: Greens

    The World Today - Friday, January 24, 2003 12:10

    JOHN HIGHFIELD: Senator Bob Brown says he now has legal advice that if Australian forces do go to war against Iraq without United Nations backing, they will be in contravention of international law and could find themselves before the International Criminal Court which Australia argued so vociferously for.

    Ross Solly was there in Canberra when the Greens leader spoke to reporters.

    BOB BROWN: Clear legal advice I have that it would be illegal for Australian Defence Force Personnel to take part in an attack on Iraq without the Security Council mandate.

    And that is not there at the moment. The Security Council has mandated that there will be inspectorate teams sent into Iraq and that there are consequences of weapons of mass destruction being found there.

    They have not been found. It would be a breach of the Security Council Resolution for there to be an attack on Iraq in those circumstances, and a breach of the charter of the United Nations and would expose Australian Defence Personnel to possible challenges in the International Courts.

    I'm asking Prime Minister Howard to reveal the legal advice he has from Attorney-General’s on the international ramifications of Australian troops defence personnel being used in such an attack without the warrant of the United Nations, which is a very likely scenario in the coming weeks.

    The second thing is, this is Australia. Our Defence Force personnel must be kept under the command of General Cosgrove, under Australian command with direct authority going through to the Prime Minister.

    And the Prime Minister must tell Australians whether or not he's prepared to put Australian Defence Force Personnel under the command of the Pentagon and President Bush instead.

    ROSS SOLLY: So are you saying that Australian troops could find themselves before the International Criminal Court which Australia fought so hard to establish in the first place?

    BOB BROWN: If an attack on Iraq takes place without the auspices of the United Nations, that is the case.

    That is my advice and it’s a very serious matter and we need to know from the Prime Minister under what circumstances he would or would not allow Australian Defence Personnel to be employed.

    VOXPOP: Archbishop Hollingworth has been caught on tape at yesterday's farewell for the Kanimbla [phonetic], backing the Government's policy on Iraq. What's your response to that?

    BOB BROWN: I'm absolutely shocked that Archbishop Hollingworth should say words to the effect that this has got to be done.

    That is the Governor-General of this country becoming an echo of the Prime Minister and the Liberal Party. It is partisan politics.

    If the report is true, it’s a disgraceful departure for the Governor-General to be partisan at a time like this, when the country needs a head-of-state who is representing all Australians.

    ROSS SOLLY: But he's entitled to an opinion, a personal opinion isn't he? If he is saying that in a personal conversation to troops to make them feel like they have his support then is that a bad thing?

    BOB BROWN: No, he's not. Unfortunately when you become a Governor-General your opinion is one, which reflects the nation. And to be in a public place, giving an opinion to anybody is to say the least, indiscreet.

    JOHN HIGHFIELD: Senator Bob Brown.

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