Author Archives: Andrew Farran and Peter Small

Andrew Farran and Peter Small

About Andrew Farran and Peter Small

Andrew Farran is former diplomat, trade adviser to government and senior academic (public law including international law). Writes extensively on international affairs and defence, contributing previously to major newspapers (metropolitan and rural). Formerly director of major professional publishing company; now of a major wool growing enterprise.

The wool trade: hostage to intransigence

Animal welfare groups object to the wool industry because of the process of mulesing, a treatment used to protect sheep from fly strike. They argue that mulesing is cruel and invasive regardless of whether painkillers are used. There is, however, … Continue reading

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Britain facing two potential devastations

Britain is facing two devastations in short order – a further surge in coronavirus cases; and achieving coherence from its imminent departure from the EU. Both will have deleterious effects on future economic growth, though long term from Brexit more … Continue reading

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Rafferty has taken charge of the ministerial decision making process.

While confusion over the supervision of quarantined returning travellers by private security firms in Victoria may have arisen from exceptional circumstances, a broader question concerning the unfettered exercise of Ministerial (Executive) power has come to the forefront of governing in … Continue reading

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The High Court must rule on State border controls before more businesses are bankrupted and family relations traumatised.

No government, whether Commonwealth or State, has primacy over movement across State borders. Primacy lies in the Federal Constitution which states in Section 92 that “trade, commerce, and intercourse among the States … shall be absolutely free”. A distribution of … Continue reading

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Brexit – a crash landing in prospect

Brexit is done but its end-shape is not. The final stages of the post-Brexit negotiations are shrouded in mistrust, misrepresentations, and most recently an intended breach of international law. The real intentions of the negotiators, both sides, remain clouded.

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Under the proposed Foreign Relations Bill the states might be down but they are not out

If Mr Morrison wants to ride roughshod over certain state interests in the external sphere he had better be prepared to brief counsel at the High Court.

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The longer term consequences of the pandemic may be fewer citizens’ rights

When we require a bureaucrat’s permission to leave the country, or to cross our neighbourhood’s State border, one far removed from any known instance of a viral infection, our rights and liberties are indeed slipping. They are doing so right … Continue reading

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Australia’s dubious record in supporting international law.

As the world descends into power politics, less powerful nations must place their faith, and potentially their security, in the retention and development of a credible international legal system. That credibility turns on the respect and observance given to it … Continue reading

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Section 92 of the Constitution lost to shortsightedness

It is a pity that the Commonwealth has formally dropped out of the Clive Palmer challenge in the High Court over State boundary closures as offending Section 92 of the Constitution – though prior to that it had made a … Continue reading

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Out of sight, out of mind. What’s happened to Trade?

Trade does not get the attention  it requires as all external issues are viewed through the prism of the defence/intelligence agencies, subordinating the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade itself. This has become worse since trade was integrated into that … Continue reading

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Aristotle’s citizens and the Constitution

The renowned British economist Martin Wolf, writing in the Financial Times last weekend, has warned that a possible consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic is that “Democracy will fail if we don’t think as citizens”.By citizens he is thinking of a … Continue reading

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An uncertain six months for Britain, Covid-19 and Brexit. Part 1

Over the next six months Britain may face greater uncertainty about the cohesion of its social and economic fabric than at any time since the threat of German invasion in late 1940.

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Militarism and Popularism, a dangerous mix

Popularism in defence matters must have its limits. Being carried away on a wave of popularism may be exciting but when reality strikes the repercussions could be severe.

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Regardless of the EU, the UK’s trading status is about to default to the WTO

The UK has already left the EU. That’s the reality. What remains to be decided, before 31 December, is its future relationship with the EU. But there is more to it than that.

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Regardless of the EU, the UK’s trading status is about to default to the WTO

The UK has already left the EU. That’s the reality. What remains to be decided, before 31 December, is its future relationship with the EU. But there is more to it than that.

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit Britain – “The lonely little country”

Will Boris Johnson maintain his stance that there will be no extension to the transitional period for completion of the UK/EU Future Relations agreement even though the time remaining is well short of the time required to settle and formalise … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. State border closures and Section 92

It is surprising that there has been little comment on, let alone challenge to, the extent of the States’ overreach with their Covid-19 border closures in the face of Section 92  of the Australian Constitution. This may be changing

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ANDREW FARRAN. Pandemics, paradoxes and the Federal system

There is still a question as we continue to confront the coronavirus whether the Constitution with respect to health and education needs clarification so that the imposition of border closures, regional lockdowns, school closures, etc., and decisions having legal implications, … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Cleaning up after Brexit

Although Brexit is the name that within the UK Government can’t be spoken the hard truth is that it is not yet done and the doing may prove a messy business. The cliff that looms on 31 December is coming … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Wither Brexit and the Trade System under Covid-19?

Where can the suspended post-Brexit negotiations go from here when the very multilateral trading system, along with globalisation, is on its uppers, under the curse of the CaronaVirus pandemic? What will the negotiators be able to come to grips with … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN.- A New Constitutional Health Power for the Commonwealth

Could the Caronavirus (Covin-19) outbreak be a tipping point swinging the balance of Constitutional power with respect to health in favour of the Commonwealth, as happened previously with defence, income tax and civil aviation?

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ANDREW FARRAN/GARY SAMPSON. Brexiting in Brussels – High Noon awaits?

As the UK/EU negotiators face up to the definitive stages of shaping their post-Brexit world, questions are being asked in London and elsewhere whether the Johnson Government is approaching these negotiations with serious intent having gone from “let’s get Brexit … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Further unintended consequences for Boris’s Brexit.

Coming to terms with the repercussions of Brexit has not been made easier for the UK by Boris Johnson’s self-imposed constraint that the business must be settled by 31st December with no extensions.

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit, the ‘final ‘ stages. Will Europe be the same again?

In the highly complicated and complex negotiations soon to be underway between the UK and the EU, and others, to complete Brexit, it cannot be assumed that truth will displace ‘fact’ or that international trade law will be respected in … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Iran: The military track Military from Hybrid war to Denouement

What we are likely to witness, this year or later, is the 4th Iraq War – a process of reorienting the Levant around ideologically and sectarian driven forces and the undoing of the British-French (Sykes-Picot) colonial compact of 1916 (already … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN.- Weaponising Hostage Taking in International Diplomacy

Hostage diplomacy is about as low as it gets in a system of sovereign states that supposedly adheres to the inherent principles of comity, good faith and state responsibility.

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit. The beginning is ending. The end is just beginning!

What explains Boris Johnson’s election and what does it mean for Brexit? Pure fatigue. It should never have gone on this way.

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ANDREW FARRAN. It is secret government, not Chinese subversion, we have most to fear.

Paul Barratt has put the country on notice that, as currently practiced by government, Australia could find itself at war before it knew it – see  https://johnmenadue.com/paul-barratt-its-too-easy-to-take-us-to-war.  

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 8 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. Hugh White’s Plan for defending Australia

Hugh White’s ‘How the Defend Australia’ is a masterly and lucid analysis of defence forward planning issues and force structure options that will be of enormous benefit to any thinking Australian with an interest in this area. As well as … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 7 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit and Britain: A strange state of affairs indeed

Brexit is again on the cusp. Boris Johnson’s lowest common denominator Withdrawal Agreement (WA2) is before the Parliament either for a ‘meaningful vote’ or for a Second Reading as a Bill. Whether passed as a meaningful vote, it cannot of … Continue reading

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