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Justice and Revenge: The Lessons of Sept 11

Magistrate Geoffrey Robertson QC
Date and time: 
1 November, 2001 - 13:00

"Well, tonight I want to speak a little more generally about the problems of enforcing universal Human Rights Standards in a world where sovereignty, where national pride, and national - where international law is still developing. We are after all at the end of a week which saw the effective end of the first war of the 21st Century. The United States and its allies, including Australia, did not in that war vanquish terrorism; what they did was to overthrow and to replace the sovereign Government of Afghanistan.

Now, in these days, making war means inevitably making law, in the sense of creating a precedent for future action, future invasions of other countries. So, in analysing the question of whether it was a just war, and just what it was fought for, I want to raise the question of how does the assault on Afghanistan fit in with the development of International Human Rights Law; what sort of precedent have we created for the future?"


More in the transcript below...

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