Author Archives: Andrew Farran

Andrew Farran

About Andrew Farran

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.

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.

Posted in World Affairs | 5 Comments

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

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Economy, Politics | 4 Comments

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.

Posted in World Affairs | 4 Comments

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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ANDREW FARRAN. Modernising the Rules-based International Order

Prime Minister Morrison’s verbal assault on what he described, in relation to multilateral institutions, “as negative globalism that coercively seeks to impose a mandate from an often ill-defined borderless global community…and worse still an unaccountable international bureaucracy” – is of … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. UK Supreme Court thwarts Boris’ sneaky exit from the EU

The implications of the UK Supreme Court’s decision in holding the Boris government’s Prorogation of Parliament as unlawful, null and void, have far reaching implications for the Westminster system both in the UK and elsewhere. As for Brexit, the decision … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN: A diplomatic niche in early Australian-Afghan Relations

Given that Australia has been engaged in military operations in Afghanistan, in addition to military/civil reconstruction and stabilisation efforts, in the provinces for over 18 years, it is only appropriate that we should greet the publication of a considered history … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit – a reconfiguration of British politics

It is not new news that British politics are fragmenting. What we can’t be sure about is how the political lines may permanently be redrawn. How might the two main drivers, Brexit and the next General Election (if and when … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 1 Comment

ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit – Put not thy trust in constitutional convention

Had the English Settlement of 1688 been followed with a written Constitution Britain might not be in the pickle it is today. Then the tussle between King and Parliament had resulted in civil war. While the Royal Prerogative Powers have … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Boris will get his Brexit but at what cost?

Will PM Boris Johnson crash through and with what consequences if he does? He has set himself a wild challenge, on the level of do or die. Determined to achieve Brexit even without a deal, the likelihood at this stage … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Defence ‘culture’ holding back balanced defence force

An analysis of Australia’s strategic culture, as distinct from posture, might have offered alternative or expanded answers to how we have got to where we are and how Australia should be defended in future – comment by Alan Behm on … Continue reading

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