Armed Forces Law Association of New Zealand
in association with
The New Zealand & Australian Armed Forces Law Review
The International Colloquium
‘Military Discipline in the 21st Century: the challenges of a new era’
31 August – 1 September 2012
To be held at the Royal New Zealand Naval Base Marae, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand – Te Taua Moana Marae
Call For Papers
The position, role and operation of the military changed markedly from 1900 to 2000. With the first decade of the 21st century behind us, change has continued at a remarkable pace. The paradigm of the 21st century is not defined by the traditional notion of conflict between geographically defined states. With the ability of non-state entities to wage campaigns that mirror our traditional notions of war, significant pressure has been placed upon the way in which many states order their military. Military discipline is one area in which the tension between combative training, civil deployment, and peacekeeping operations have come together in ways not experienced by military forces before. The modern day soldier is therefore a highly nuanced individual, capable of deployment in any number of situations. The system of military discipline has itself been the subject of significant scrutiny. One pressure faced by the system of discipline is the way in which human rights are applied to soldiers. Notions such as the right to fair trial, access to independent counsel and the right to an independent decision maker have facilitated change in many military forces around the world.
Often deployed in circumstances where opposing combatants have little to no regard for the Hague or Geneva Conventions, the modern soldier will often be encumbered with obligations that are not reciprocated. However, not only are modern military forces charged with protecting human rights and maintaining the laws of war, but they must also maintain strict discipline within their own rank and file. Sexual crimes perpetrated by UN peacekeepers for example has become a significant issue, not only for the victims of such crime (including host states), but also for the UN and contributing states.
Although maintaining a legal focus, this colloquium will seek to approach the issue of military discipline in its widest sense. The organising committee therefore invites papers on the any of the following topics:
• The role of the military as enforcers of human rights;
• Instilling military discipline within the 21st century;
• Soldiers as human beings;
• Soldiers as criminal actors;
• Individual versus State responsibility for criminal wrongdoing;
• Domestic application of human rights norms in military discipline regimes.
While predominately focusing on the legal aspects of military discipline the committee is interested in contributions from any of the full range of disciplines within the human and social sciences that bear on this topic.
Papers will be selected on the basis of an abstract of no more than 250 words.
Abstracts should be submitted by email to the Conference Convenor, Dr Chris Gallavin at
firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 June 2012.
All enquiries should be directed to:
Dr Chris Gallavin
Senior Lecturer in Law
School of Law,
University of Canterbury
Further information will soon be available at the conference website