Triggs, Gillian, et al: Anzac spirit and human rights

Triggs, Gillian, et al

War and Peace: the ANZAC Spirit and Human Rights, Australian Human Rights Commission, Sydney 2015

Papers from a conference held by the Commission in May 2014. There is an introduction from Professor Triggs and papers from Professor Triggs (World War I and the evolution of human rights), David Rutherford (human rights and the Anzac spirit), Damian Powell (war and peace and human rights), Elizabeth Evatt (Australia, the UN Charter and human rights), David Morrison (understanding Anzac Day: what were we fighting for?) and Robert Tickner (humanity in war – 100 years of Red Cross in Australia and developments in international humanitarian law).

The conference addressed these questions:

  • What was it that New Zealanders and Australians believed they were fighting for during the First World War?
  • Is it merely a romantic myth that the Anzacs fought for individual freedom and liberty against the threat of national aggrandisement and racial superiority? Was it a war of ideas between the individualist democratic enlightened French and English tradition and the German heroic ideal of sacrifice for the common good? In short, did such lofty ideas as liberty really stimulate the Anzac bravery in a conflict that was so many thousands of miles from us?
  • How did the Anzac experiences from 1914-18 shape and articulate the global human rights based regime that we have 100 years later in the 21st Century?
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