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PM must have parliamentary approval to send troops to war.



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PM must have parliamentary approval to send troops to war

17/09/2008

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam will introduce a Bill into the Senate today that would ensure parliamentary approval for the deployment of forces.

"It is time that Australia joined its closest allies and like-minded democratic states by involving the Parliament in the decision to send troops into battle," Senator Ludlam said.

"Decisions about sending Australia's sons and daughters into danger, quite possibly to their deaths, should not be made by a handful of people, or in undue haste. Such decisions must enjoy public confidence and the mandate of the parliament", Senator Ludlam said.

"This bill would see Australia join other like-minded democracies. Britain has transferred the prerogative power to declare war to the parliament. Countries like Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey all require their parliaments to approve this most serious decision.

"The Howard government was the first government in Australia's history to go to war without the support of both houses of Parliament when troops were rapidly deployed to an illegal war in Iraq in 2003. This Bill provides an opportunity to learn the lessons of this mistake and ensure it never happens again.

"There are appropriate exemptions made in the Bill that do not interfere with the non-warlike overseas service with which Australian troops are engaged," Senator Ludlam said.

Further information: Felicity Hill on 0417 174 302