Publications

This is a searchable catalogue of the College's most recent books, book chapters, journal articles and working papers. The ANU College of Law also publishes a Research Paper Series on SSRN.

Maritime security

Australia's conceptualisation of maritime security

Author(s): David Letts

A search of relevant government publications does not provide any evidence of an official definition for maritime security that has been adopted by the Australian Government. A range of government departments and authorities use the term, but invariably without any accompanying definition.

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Centre: CMSL

Research theme: Military & Security Law

National Security Intelligence and Ethics

National Security Intelligence and Ethics

Editor(s): David Letts, Seumas Miller, Mitt Regan, Patrick F. Walsh

Associate Professor David Letts AM CSM has authored a chapter, 'Intelligence sharing among coalition forces', that appears in National Security Intelligence and Ethics (Routledge, 2021). Since the end of World War II, there have been numerous examples of coalition operations involving two or more military forces, including some operations that have been held under the authority of the United Nations through the passing of a UN Security Council Resolution. 1 Other types of multinational operations, comprising both formal alliances that are set up under treaty arrangements, such as NATO, 2 and more informal coalitions that are typically established under ad hoc arrangements that deal with a specific issue or incident, such as the International Maritime Security Construct, 3 have been a feature of military operations for centuries. 4 Changes in the structure of alliances and coalitions have also been a regular occurrence, often driven by changes that occur in the political landscape of one or more partner State. There are also other types of cooperation that occur between military forces, such as routine participation in exercises and training activities, as well as exchange of personnel, staff meetings and high-level discussions between senior officials. Overall, these activities are all examples of two or more foreign militaries working together to achieve a common objective.

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Centre: CMSL

Research theme: Military & Security Law

National Security and Counterterrorism Laws cover page

National Security and Counterterrorism Laws

Author(s): James Renwick

The relationship between national security and the law is often under strain. The past 20 years have seen many Commonwealth laws passed in quick response to counterterrorism attacks, and more recently, acts of foreign interference and espionage. This article explains the scope of this special edition while reflecting on the challenges facing each branch of government, and law-reform, in this increasingly important area of the law.

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law, Governance and Development, Military & Security Law

NSC

Australia as a Space Power: Combining Civil, Defence and Diplomatic Efforts

Author(s):

Australia is asserting itself as a serious space player and needs a strategy to match its positioning. In 2018, the creation of the Australian Space Agency (ASA) gained international attention. The ASA’s mission is to develop the nation’s commercial space industry. The new focus on space in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update (DSU) firmly signalled Australia’s intent to advance its sovereign space capabilities.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Military & Security Law

Civil Society Coalitions and the Humanitarian Campaigns to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions

Civil Society Coalitions and the Humanitarian Campaigns to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions

Author(s):

The ending of the Cold War ushered in an era of conventional arms control measures that were previously stymied by great power competition. Further, by the end of the 1990s, a civil society coalition working with middle power states had changed the way international law was made, and had achieved an outright ban not only on a conventional weapon but a weapon in popular use by ground forces and stockpiled by most countries in the world – the antipersonnel landmine. A decade later, a similar ban on cluster munitions was achieved by a related coalition. The popularity of these bans, for ostensibly humanitarian reasons, and in what came to be termed “humanitarian arms control” led to normative changes in State behavior, and changes to customary international law. Additionally, civil society groups found ways to bring other users of these weapons, armed non-state actors, to be accountable under international law. That challenged the long-held notions not only that the State holds the monopoly on the threat or use of force but also who or what can be held accountable to international norms and laws. Further, human rights, particularly the rights of survivors of landmine and cluster munition explosions, became central to the provisions in these treaties.

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Centre: CMSL

Research theme: Military & Security Law

Civil Society Coalitions and the Humanitarian Campaigns to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions

Civil Society Coalitions and the Humanitarian Campaigns to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions

Author(s):

The ending of the Cold War ushered in an era of conventional arms control measures that were previously stymied by great power competition. Further, by the end of the 1990s, a civil society coalition working with middle power states had changed the way international law was made, and had achieved an outright ban not only on a conventional weapon but a weapon in popular use by ground forces and stockpiled by most countries in the world – the antipersonnel landmine. A decade later, a similar ban on cluster munitions was achieved by a related coalition. The popularity of these bans, for ostensibly humanitarian reasons, and in what came to be termed “humanitarian arms control” led to normative changes in State behavior, and changes to customary international law. Additionally, civil society groups found ways to bring other users of these weapons, armed non-state actors, to be accountable under international law. That challenged the long-held notions not only that the State holds the monopoly on the threat or use of force but also who or what can be held accountable to international norms and laws. Further, human rights, particularly the rights of survivors of landmine and cluster munition explosions, became central to the provisions in these treaties.

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Centre: CMSL

Research theme: Military & Security Law

Deliberative Peace Referendums

Deliberative Peace Referendums

Author(s): Ron Levy

Peace referendums', which seek to manage conflict between warring groups, are increasingly common. Yet they remain erratic forces—liable as often to aggravate as to resolve tensions. This book argues that, despite their risks, referendums can play useful roles amid armed conflict. Drawing on a distinctive combination of the fields of deliberative democracy, constitutional theory and conflict studies, and relying on comparative examples (eg, from Algeria, Colombia, New Caledonia, Northern Ireland, Papua New Guinea, and South Africa), the book shows how peace referendums can fulfil their promise as genuine tools of conflict management.

Co-authors: Ron Levy, Ian O'Flynn, and Hoi L. Kong

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Military & Security Law

War and Peace in Outer Space

War and Peace in Outer Space

Author(s): Cassandra Steer

This book delves into legal and ethical concerns over the increased weaponization of outer space and the potential for space-based conflict in the very near future. Unique to this collection is the emphasis on questions of ethical conduct and legal standards applicable to military uses of outer space. No other existing publication takes this perspective, nor includes such a range of interdisciplinary expertise.

The essays included in this volume explore the moral and legal issues of space security in four sections. Part I provides a general legal framework for the law of war and peace in space. Part II tackles ethical issues. Part III looks at specific threats to space security. Part IV proposes possible legal and diplomatic solutions. With an expert author team from North American and Europe, the volume brings together academics, military lawyers, military space operators, aerospace industry representatives, diplomats, and national security and policy experts. The experience of this team provides a collection unmatched in any academic publication broaching even some of these issues and will be required reading for anyone interested in war and peace in outer space.

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Centre: CMSL

Research theme: Military & Security Law

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Why Outer Space Matters for National and International Security

Author(s): Cassandra Steer

Despite the fact that outer space may only be used for peaceful purposes under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, most technologically advanced States today have a high military dependence on space. In other words, space is “militarized,” but not yet “weaponized.” At the same time, a space arms race has been underway for some time, and appears to be accelerating in recent years. In 2019, India joined what it proudly dubbed the “elite club” of States with the capability to launch direct ascent anti-satellite weapons, replicating earlier tests by China, Russia and the U.S., all of whom have also demonstrated more covert forms of anti-satellite or “counterspace” technologies. The establishment of the U.S. Space Force at the end of 2019 and the response of allies and adversaries alike is emblematic of the escalatory cycle that appears to be in place. Today nearly every country is dependent in some way on space-enabled capabilities, many of which are supplied not by States but by commercial entities. This report outlines the historical and legal context, and argues for increased cooperation and transparency to improve the stability and security of outer space for national and international security.

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Centre: CIPL, CMSL

Research theme: International Law, Law and Technology, Military & Security Law

Who Has the Power? A Critical Perspective on Space Governance and New Entrants to the Space Sector

Author(s): Cassandra Steer

Space law and space politics are determined by the same big players as terrestrial geopolitics, and therefore in asking how to govern space, we have to take the current realities of international relations and international law into account. How are new entrants interacting with the international space law regime inherited from the Cold War, and what kinds of new governance structures might we need to deal with the increasing number and kinds of participants emerging in the space sector? I take a critical perspective, drawing on feminist legal theory and Third World Perspectives on International Law (TWAIL) to pose further questions: who is exercising power over the development of new legal and governance norms in space and who is excluded from this? I argue that, because we are all so dependent on space for our contemporary existence, 21st century space governance needs to take into account more than the interests of the biggest players.

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Centre: CIPL, CMSL

Research theme: International Law, Law and Technology, Military & Security Law

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Elected Member Influence in the United Nations Security Council

Author(s): Jeremy Farrall

This article reassesses how members of the UN Security Council exercise influence over the Council’s decision-making process, with particular focus on the ten elected members (the ‘E10’). A common understanding of Security Council dynamics accords predominance to the five permanent members (the ‘P5’), suggesting bleak prospects for the Council as a forum that promotes the voices and representation of the 188 non-permanent members. The assumption is that real power rests with the P5, while the E10 are there to make up the numbers. By articulating a richer account of Council dynamics, this article contests the conventional wisdom that P5 centrality crowds out space for the E10 to influence Council decision-making. It also shows that opportunities for influencing Council decision-making go beyond stints of elected membership. It argues that the assumed centrality of the P5 on the Council thus needs to be qualified and re-evaluated.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Social Justice, Law, Governance and Development, Military & Security Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

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The Antarctic Treaty at Sixty Years: Past, Present and Future

Author(s): Donald Rothwell

The Antarctic Treaty, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2019, remains as a unique example of an international law instrument that seeks to provide a governance mechanism for a single continent. Both Japan and Australia were original parties to the Antarctic Treaty and have been strong supporters of the Treaty throughout its lifetime. However, in 2019 questions are starting to be raised as to whether a treaty negotiated in 1959 is capable of continuing to provide an appropriate governance framework for Antarctica. These questions relate to the role of the seven Antarctic claimant States, the role of historically prominent non-claimant States such as the United States and the Russian Federation, and the interests of powerful ‘new’ States that are beginning to express a strong interest in polar affairs such as China. This paper assesses whether the Antarctic Treaty is sufficiently robust to address the challenges that confront Antarctic governance in 2019 and into the future. Particular attention will be given to whether it remains possible for Treaty parties to request an Article XII ‘Review Conference’, and also the 1991 Madrid Protocol Article 25 review mechanisms.

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Centre: CIPL, CMSL

Research theme: International Law, Military & Security Law

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An Introduction to Maritime Crime in West Africa

Author(s): Phillip Drew

This paper examines the issue of maritime crime in the context of West Africa. Acknowledging that maritime crime is a growing threat to commercial shipping in the region, and to the economic health of West African countries, Dr. Drew assess the various factors that have thus far permitted maritime criminals in the region to operate with relative impunity. Recognising that a number of countries and international organisations have engaged in capacity building with the states of the GoG, Drew notes that lasting solutions to maritime crime require a broad approach that provides resources not only for the region’s military and law enforcement challenges, but also the underlying social problems that affect much of the continent.

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Centre: CMSL

Research theme: International Law, Legal Education, Military & Security Law

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Blockade? A Legal Assessment of the Maritime Interdiction of Yemen’s Ports

Author(s): Phillip Drew

In January 2015, the government of Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was ousted from power by Houthi rebels based in the northern highlands of Yemen. Initially forced to flee the country, Hadi soon returned, establishing a new government in the southern city of Aden. His return marked the commencement of the latest phase of Yemen’s perpetual civil war.

In what has often been referred to as the ‘Saudi-led blockade’, a coalition naval force, made up primarily of vessels from Gulf Cooperation Council states, has been enforcing a closure of Yemen’s waters and most of its ports. Yemen requires food imports to feed its population, and fuel imports to generate the electricity that it needs to keep its water plants operating. As a result of the naval interdiction operations, the civilian population of Yemen is in crisis. Approximately 20 million people require humanitarian assistance, and the country continues to struggle under the largest cholera epidemic in history.

This paper examines the legal bases for the current interdiction operations, both from the perspective of the law of naval warfare and the law of the sea. Finally it assesses the role that Security Council resolutions have played in the continuation of the ongoing humanitarian crisis and the role that the Security Council can play in supporting the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need.

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Centre: CMSL

Research theme: International Law, Legal Education, Military & Security Law

Recent Developments in Social Security Law

Author(s):

This Paper was presented to a Roundtable of the National Social Security Rights Network in Canberra on 5 August 2017.

The Paper reports on recent developments in social security law in Australia, particularly with reference to recent decisions of the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Federal Court of Australia.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Military & Security Law

The Use of Space Technology Export Controls as a Bargaining Solution for Sustainability: A Chicago Convention Model of Space Governance

Author(s): Cassandra Steer

With the increase in space debris and space traffic, there is growing awareness that sustainable use of space requires improvements in global space governance, yet no binding international treaty has been concluded for almost four decades. There is little national incentive for countries to enter into binding instruments that may impose limits on their freedom of action: key issues such as space debris and space traffic management may not immediately threaten national interest. However, they threaten the collective interest in the long term, and the question is how to incentivize States towards creating new space governance instruments to ensure sustainable use of space. Successful international treaties can be described as the striking of a “bargain”, whereby States accept limits on their behavior in exchange for the cooperation of other States. This paper proposes a model similar to the 1949 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, widely seen as the regulatory pillar upon which global civil aviation was built. The Chicago Convention successfully continues to adapt to technologies and to provide incentives for State Parties to comply, due largely to the key mechanism of the technical Annexes. State Parties agree to comply with uniform standards and recommended practices (SARPs) for the safety and efficiency of air navigation in exchange for the cooperation of other States. Hence there is significant short term economic incentive to comply. This paper proposes a new international convention for civil space activities, which would incorporate SARPs for safety and sustainability in outer space. National space technology export control mechanisms can be used by States to incentivize compliance: States could refuse to export space technologies to non-complaint States. Thus, the bargaining mechanism would ensure compliance with long term sustainability interests based on the short-term incentive of access to space technology.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Military & Security Law

Global Commons and Cosmic Commons

Global Commons, Cosmic Commons: Implications of Military and Security Uses of Outer Space

Author(s): Cassandra Steer

Although space was envisaged to be a global commons, in recent years there have been policy shifts that reflect the desire to exert a more dominant presence in outer space, with more proactive, aggressive space security strategies. The notion of a global commons has come under threat, and there is a risk of an emerging space arms race and even of a conflict in space. There is, therefore, a renewed need for restraint in space for both national and global security and for more clarity on the ways in which military and security activities are limited by existing international law.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Military & Security Law

Crown and Sword

Crown and Sword: Executive power and the use of force by the Australian Defence Force

Author(s):

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.

Free download or order a printed copy

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Military & Security Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

Conflicts in Space and the Rule of Law

Author(s): Cassandra Steer

Given the increase in the number of States and non-State actors becoming active in space, and the increased reliance that militaries have on space technologies, there are growing concerns about the risk of a conflict taking place in outer space. There is currently no binding international legal instrument that effectively deals with conflicts in space. As will be elaborated in this paper, the probability of the conclusion of such an agreement or of any non-binding soft-law instrument in the near future is also very low. We believe that innovative means ought to be devised in this regard. One such means could be the development of a Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS), which would follow in the footsteps of the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflict at Sea, the Harvard Manual on International Law Applicable to Air and Missile Warfare, and the more recent Tallinn Manual on International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Military & Security Law

Conflicts in Space

Conflicts in Space: International Humanitarian Law and Its Application to Space Warfare

Author(s): Cassandra Steer

This article discusses the ways in which International Humanitarian Law (IHL) applies to the domain of outer space. IHL is applicable as a matter of international law, yet outer space poses some challenges when it comes to specific principles and rules. A brief outline is given of some of the kinds of weapons that have been and might be used in space, as well as the ways in which space assets are used with respect to conflicts on Earth. This is followed by an in depth analysis of the core principles of IHL and how they apply: the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in attack. While it is imperative that States recognise that IHL is applicable to all their activities in space that involve conflicts on Earth and/or in space, care must be taken in weighing up the traditional principles and their application to this new domain. As the technology that increases war-fighting capability advances, so does the imperative to understand the applicable legal framework for the use of such technology.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Military & Security Law

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