Book launch: Crown and sword: Executive power and the use of force by the Australian Defence Force

Date & time

4.30–5pm Thursday 7 December 2017


Law Link Theatre

ANU College of Law, 5 Fellows Road, The Australian National University


Dr Cameron Moore, Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, University of Wollongong
Henry Burmester AO, QC, ANU College of Law


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.


Nicole Harman

Presented by the Centre for International & Public Law and the Centre for Military & Security Law

Book launch
Cameron Moore

The Australian Defence Force, together with military forces from a number of western democracies, have for some years been seeking out and killing Islamic militants in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, detaining asylum seekers for periods at sea or running the judicial systems of failed states. It has also been ready to conduct internal security operations at home. The domestic legal authority cited for this is often the poorly understood concept of executive power, which is power that derives from executive and not parliamentary authority.

In an age of legality where parliamentary statutes govern action by public officials in the finest detail, it is striking that these extreme exercises of the use of force often rely upon an elusive legal basis. This book seeks to find the limits to the exercise of this extraordinary power.


  • Dr Cameron Moore »

    Cameron Moore is an Associate Professor at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) at the University of Wollongong. He is also an Associate Professor at the Australian National University. He wrote this book while a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at the University of New England (UNE), Armidale, NSW. He has previously been the Academic Master of Robb College at UNE. His publications include the book ADF on the Beat: A Legal Analysis of Offshore Enforcement by the ADF (2004) and other articles and chapters on the Australian Defence Force and maritime security. Between 1996 and 2003, Cameron was a Royal Australian Navy Legal Officer.

    His legal experience includes service at sea as well as advising at the strategic level on a number of ADF deployments, ongoing fisheries and border protection operations and the Tampa incident. Cameron is still an active Navy reservist. He had a brief deployment to Afghanistan in 2010. He completed a PhD thesis through the Australian National University in 2015 on the Australian Defence Force and the Executive Power.

  • Henry Burmester AO, QC »

    Henry Burmester AO, QC was appointed an Honorary Professor in the ANU College of Law in 2016. He was formerly Chief General Counsel in the Australian Government Solicitor from 1995 until 2009. During that period he on occasion acted as Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth. Before that he was head of the Office of International Law in the Attorney-General's Department.

    Henry was a member of the ANU Faculty of Law between 1981 and 1985. He is a graduate of ANU (BA, LLB(Hons), and LLM (Virginia).

    Henry's principal interests are international and constitutional law. He has written in both areas and appeared as counsel for Australia in international tribunals and  in major Australian constitutional cases.


Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team