In this episode, Dr Simon McKenzie is joined by Dr Eve Massingham and Associate Professor Rain Liivoja to grapple with the findings of the Brereton Report. The report is shocking: it found credible evidence of 39 murders of civilians and prisoners by, or on the instructions of, members of the Australian special forces which were then covered up.
Simon, Eve and Rain talk about the context of the Report and the allegations, and the potential consequences for the individuals who allegedly carried out these acts. They explain what war crimes are and how they differ from domestic crimes, the concept of command responsibility, and what the sentence for any conviction might be. They also how the Australian government might respond to the wrongdoing and ensure the Afghan victims receive justice.
Rain Liivoja is an Associate Professor at The University of Queensland Law School, where he leads the Law and the Future of War research group. Rain also holds the title of Adjunct Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki, where he is affiliated with the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights.
Eve Massingham is a Senior Research Fellow at The University of Queensland Law School. Eve's current research focuses on the diverse ways in which the law constrains or enables autonomous functions of military platforms, systems and weapons. She is the co-editor of Ensuring Respect for International Humanitarian Law (Routledge, 2020) and she has published a number of book chapters and journal articles in the fields of international humanitarian law and international law and the use of force.