Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee

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Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee

Black and white photo from the world war one era, showing a group of Quakers holding silent witness for peace.

Aims to monitor international and national legislation and government policies and actions regarding matters of particular interest to Friends.

Purpose

The Quaker Peace & Legislation Committee aims to monitor international and national legislation and government policies and actions regarding matters of particular interest to Friends. The purpose is to keep Quakers informed of issues by circulating briefing sheets indicating basic details and possible action by Friends locally and beyond. The committee can also make representations to government or parliament on behalf of Friends, or propose such action to the Presiding Clerk, Standing Committee or Yearly Meeting. The committee may initiate particular peace projects, including in cooperation with Regional Meetings, to enhance the involvement of Friends in peace concerns.

Morrison's second ministry - Watching Brief 19-5 (June 2019)

Summary of Ministerial and bureaucratic changes made following the recent election of the Morrison government.

Update on Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) Campaigns - Watching Brief 19-4 (June 2019)

QPLC is re-issuing our 2013 Watching Brief on BDS, with a short update, to contribute to the AYM discernment process with regard to Quaker withdrawal from any investments which might support Israel's occupation of Palestine.

Julian Assange Letter to Prime Minister Morrison, 30 May 2019

Letter to the PM requesting extra consular assistance for Julian Assange. 

Quaker United Nations Office - Watching Brief 19-3 (May 2019)

Quakers have for many years had a presence at the United Nations to contribute to its multilateral peacemaking role. This Brief outlines the current work of QUNO and how Australian Friends can keep in touch.

Lethal Autonomous Weapons - Watching Brief 19-2 (May 2019)

The emergence of new technology in autonomous weapons systems ("killer robots") raises many issues. This Brief outlines the current trends and how Australian Friends might respond.

Human Rights Defenders - Watching Brief 19-1 (April 2019)

Human rights defenders are people who act to promote or protect human rights. They can be journalists, environmentalists, whistle-blowers, and so on. Margaret Clark of QPLC attended a DFAT human rights forum for NGOs, and she reports on the background to that work and the emerging challenges, and action being taken.

War Memorial Expansion - Action Alert 19-4 (April 2019)

The Australian War Memorial has become a focus for considerable concern as it seeks substantial expansion of its museum spaces. This Alert outlines the plans and the responses and suggests ways to follow up the issues involved.

Medical Evacuation of Refugees - Action Alert 19-3 (March 2019)

This Alert summarises the legislation passed by the Parliament in February facilitating the evacuation of refugees from off-shore detention to Australia on medical grounds - legislation which was bitterly opposed by the Government.

Letter to PM regarding the US pulling out of the INF Treaty (February 2019)

The United States has pulled out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia; the Presiding Clerk has written to the Prime Minister expressing Quakers' regret and dismay at this action and asking that he urge the US to reverse the decision.

ALP Conference decisions on Foreign Policy - Action Alert (January 2019)

Summary of decisions passed at the ALP National Conference of interest to Quakers.

Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Support - Letter to Bill Shorten (January 2019)

The ALP's support for the treaty to ban nuclear weapons is welcomed in this letter to Bill Shorten.

Letter to the Prime Minister about moving the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem

This letter argues against the Government's revised policy of recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Militarisation of Universities - Action Alert 18-5 (October 2018)

The armaments industry pervades many areas of political and economic/social life today. This Brief looks at the implications for teaching and research at our universities, and suggests questions that need to be raised.

International Criminal Court - Watching Brief 18-6 (October 2018)

The International Criminal Court has been in the news lately. This Brief looks at the origins, activities and shortcomings of the Court and examines the ways in which it might be strengthened.

Arms Race in Space - Watching Brief 18-5 (September 2018)

Recent moves by the US President to establish a Space Force represent a significant challenge to the peaceful uses of outer space. This Brief looks at current trends and identifies issues relevant to the peace movement.

Palestinian Refugees and UNRWA - Action Alert 18-4 (September 2018)

The US Government has decided to cut funding support for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) within 30 days, with severe consequences for Palestinian refugees, some of the most marginalized people.

Refugees and UNHCR - Watching Brief 18-4 (August 2018)

Summary of the UN High Commissioner on Refugees' recent draft Global Compact on Refugees.

Letter to the Prime Minister re: Uluru Statement from the Heart

The Presiding Clerk has written to the Prime Minister expressing Quakers' disappointment at the federal government's poor response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Media Release on the Proposed Expansion of Australia's Arms Trade

Quakers strongly disapprove of the federal government's plans to underwrite a $3.8 billion expansion of Australia's arms export trade.

Foreign Influence - Watching Brief 18-3 (July 2018)

Summary of three pieces of legislation designed to curb foreign influence in Australia's affairs, and Quaker concerns about them.

Watching Brief WB18-2 - North Korea-United States Summit (June 2018)

Text of the statement by US President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un after their summit in Singapore, and reporting of the reactions of world leaders to the summit.

Australia's Aid Program - QPLC Submission to Inquiry (June 2018)

This submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into Australia's Aid Program outlines Quakers' approach to the issue of aid and responds to the Inquiry's specific terms of reference.

Statement to Religous Freedom Inquiry (May 2018)

Oral statement by David Purnell in support of the Quaker submission to the Religous Freedom Inquiry being conducted by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. 

Action Alert AA18-2 - Gun Control in Australia (April 2018)

This Alert follows one in July 2016 on this subject (16-07). There have been recent moves to increase pressure to water down gun laws in Australia. A summary of this is given, along with suggested action in response

Watching Brief WB18-1 - Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty (April 2018)

This Brief is based on a workshop held by QPLC in Canberra in late March 2018, attended by 20 Quakers from around Australia. The workshop took the nuclear weapons ban treaty as a focus for lobbying politicians at Parliament House on 27 March. 

Letter to Prime Minister: Alarm over Australia's policy to increase role in international arms trade
This new policy to increase Australia's role in the international arms trade greatly threatens decades of careful peacebuilding work. 

Archived documents

-- Includes briefings on issues such as gun control, freedom of speech, national security laws, treatment of refugee children in detention, the South China Sea conflict, reflections on Anzac Day, and more.