The Labor and Liberal parties have yet again sidelined the parliament and the Australian people by quietly agreeing to changes to war crimes legislation, shortcutting debate and expert analysis, Greens Foreign Affairs and Defence spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.
"These changes seriously alter the governance of ADF personnel in combat. They change the definition of a war crime. It's a highly charged, complex topic in which civilians in war zones on the other side of the world have no voice.
"We'd like to hear from the ADF about why they feel these changes were needed. What actions are they trying to take that are being prevented by existing war crimes legislation?
"Parliament should have a far greater role in debating the use of military force, and the implications of those deployments. These are some of the most important decisions a nation can make, and that is what parliaments should be for.
"Australian forces operate under much more stringent rules of engagement than many of our allies including the US. Anything that creates a risk of that changing needs to be carefully scrutinised," Senator Ludlam said.