Tag Archives: Australians for War Powers Reform

War Powers Inquiry Report – A failure of democratic will

The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (the Committee) commenced its review of how Australia makes decisions to send service personnel into international armed conflict in September 2022.

The Committee held only one public hearing in Canberra and received a modest 113 public submissions. Its report was tabled in the Federal parliament on March 31, 2023.

Australians for War Powers Reform (AWPR) which has championed genuine reform of war powers for many years, declared the outcome of the Committee’s review disappointing. While the Labor dominated Committee recommended some changes by promising better transparency and accountability, AWPR criticised the report for refusing to adopt a fully democratic system where MPs are able to vote before Australia joins an overseas war.

Compared to many European parliamentary democracies, Australia can still be classified  as having weak powers related to parliamentary action required for the deployment of military force. Refer to the typology of European parliamentary war powers here.

Continue reading War Powers Inquiry Report – A failure of democratic will

Albanese Government announces War Powers Inquiry

AWPR booklet cover page. Click to enlarge.

The Labor Party has kept its pre-election promise and announced a parliamentary inquiry into international armed conflict decision making or war powers in Australia on Friday, September 30, 2022.

The 2021 ALP national conference pledged to refer the issue to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

That commitment has now been implemented and the Committee will be accepting submissions until Friday, 18 November 2022. Submissions can be lodged via the Committee’s webpage. Continue reading Albanese Government announces War Powers Inquiry