Letter re Status of Forces

Below is the text of a letter sent to the Prime Minister on 9 October 2014. Similar letters were sent to the Foreign Minister and the Defence Minister.

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9 October 2014

The Hon. Tony Abbott MP Prime Minister Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Mr Abbott

The Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry has repeatedly expressed concern about the manner in which Australia entered the war in Iraq in 2003. Our organisation is equally concerned about the present situation, and the fact that errors of the past are seemingly being repeated.

We and our members are particularly anxious that …

Letter to Members of Parliament

Below is the text of a letter sent to all Members of Federal Parliament on 9 October 2014.

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Dear MP [ personalised ]

Your response is sought on whether Parliament should be required to authorise any deployment of the ADF into armed conflict abroad.

The Australian Government has recently authorised the deployment to the Middle East of six FA/18 combat aircraft, a Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft, a KC-30A Multi Role Tanker, and 200 SAS soldiers who will serve not only in training and advisory roles, but also in forward targeting missions. This comes despite much concern …

Letter to the Attorney-General

In Reply on behalf of the Attorney-General I presented the text of a letter of 18 June received from Mr Paul O’Sullivan, Chief of Staff to the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC.

Below is the text of my reply:

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4 July 2014

Senator the Hon. George Brandis, QC Attorney-General Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Senator Brandis,

I refer to a letter of 18 June 2014 I have received from Mr Paul O’Sullivan, your Chief of Staff, writing on your behalf in response to my letter to you of 16 May.

In his letter Mr O’Sullivan states …

Reply on behalf of the Attorney-General

We recently received a reply to our 16 May letter to the Attorney-General, written on his behalf by his Chief of Staff, Mr Paul O’Sullivan.

The content of the two substantive paragraphs is highly contestable and we will provide our response in a later post.

For now, here is the text of Mr O’Sullivan’s letter:

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MC 14/09769 18 June 2014

Mr Paul Barratt Iraq War Inquiry Group PO Box 2228 MALVERN EAST VIC 3145

Dear Mr Paul Barratt

Thank you for your letter of 16 May 2014 to the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, on matters concerning …

Follow-up letter to the Prime Minister

Note by Paul Barratt

Having received no answer to my 13 March 2014 letter to the Prime Minister, seeking the establishment of an independent inquiry into Australia’s involvement in the Iraq War, and a commitment from Australia’s elected representatives to reforming the so called ‘war powers’, on 16 May I sent a follow-up letter, the text of which appears below.

Standards of courtesy to citizens making representations to Government are certainly slipping. When I worked in his Department R.F.X. (‘Rex’) Connor, the Whitlam Government’s Minister for Minerals and Energy, much reviled and maligned by conservatives both then and now, set …

Andrew Farran to the Minister for Foreign Affairs

On 28 April CIWI’s Treasurer, former diplomat and international law academic Andrew Farran, sent the following letter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs:

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The Hon. Julie Bishop, MP Minister for Foreign Affairs P.O. Box 6022 House of Representatives Parliament House CANBERRA A.C.T. 2600

April 28, 2014

Dear Minister Bishop,

I heard your address at Villers-Bretonneux on Anzac Day and was impressed by its sincerity. War, of course, is a serious business. Even more serious is the decision-making process for getting into war in the first place.

WW1 and WW2 speak for themselves, both in the historical context, and that …