What We’re All Forgetting About North Korea

Guy Exton

Today, pundits are weighing the odds of nuclear war, headlines that were last seen during the Cuban Missile Crisis have remerged, and the world is holding its breath. While I do not believe it will come to bombing Pyongyang just yet, we’re forgetting to think about something more important. Trump seems to believe that nuking North Korea is the end of the story. We’re forgetting that it would be the beginning.

China is the protagonist of this tail. It’s D-Day minus 1, Pyongyang has fallen and Kim Jong-Un is presumed dead or in a U-boat on his way to Argentina. China’s objective now is to capture as much influence as possible before Uncle Sam gets his finger in the pie. South Korea has collapsed after Soul was destroyed by the North, and Japan is left isolated.

China’s dominant strategy in this scenario would ultimately be to invade and occupy what’s left of the peninsula. Trump would be hesitant to commit to the largest state building exercise in history, preferring to admire the mess he’s made from a distance. China would have a relatively free-hand.

Ironically, after all Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, the biggest refugee crisis ever would follow. The Korean Peninsula is home to roughly 75 million people. Considering the enormity of the task ahead, China would have a fairly strong argument for establishing a government on the peninsular. Besides, the need for order in the country on the other side of a river from Chinese territory would be too immense for Beijing to ignore. However, Russia and the U.S. would have competing claims. The result would potentially mirror the division of Germany by the Allies following World War 2, with various zones of occupation.

The Korean peninsular 10 years from now might not be too different from the one we see today. Following a nuclear war, North Korea would still be a communist state – albeit Chinese – and the U.S. backed South Korean government would hold some small territory at the bottom of the country. After decades of anti-U.S. propaganda, it would be easier for the North Korean people to accept a Chinese government than an American, and the South would become a small beachhead, held together by a reluctant American occupying force. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Perhaps the only difference 10 years from now would be a reversal of power on the peninsula. The North would have sanctions lifted and massive amounts of aid thanks to Beijing. Across the new DMZ, a devastated South Korea – still ideologically opposed to their Northern neighbours – would struggle to supply basic public goods, would face a desperate and potentially hostile (or radioactively-mutant) population, and rely on an unwilling American administration for survival. We would finally lose the Korean war we began fighting in 1950.

The question then becomes: do you favour China’s system of government or America’s? That question deserves much more thought than one article could ever do justice. Indeed, that question is basically why the ANU exists. I know it’s tempting to focus on Trump’s misogyny, racism and sexism – it’s a real smorgasbord of ignorance – to discredit America’s system of governance, but no amount of poor leadership can ever discredit America’s founding documents. The separation of powers and the U.S. constitution are still some of the most genius human inventions ever envisioned. Our generation doesn’t quite grasp the value of democracy because we’ve never had to fight for it. But, when in doubt, remember the words of Winston Churchill: “Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”

To bomb the North would be to accelerate the decline of American power, and increase the international weight of China. If you’re like me, you agree that’s less than ideal. (Sorry to the Chinese spies reading this.)

My point is, if we are going to talk about nuking a country, we should talk about what we are going to do the day after. A series of major miracles would have to occur for Kim Jong-Un to be ousted and a free and democratic government created in his place. America should not give up it’s strong hand now for a weak one tomorrow. An evil regime you can live with may be a better option than no regime at all.

Guy is a second year Arts student, studying politics and history.

Australian Law Students’ Association Conference 2017: A Recap

Conor Tarpey

This year’s Australian Law Student’s Association (ALSA) 2017 Conference took place from the 3rd to the 8th of July in sunny Canberra. ALSA is the peak representative body of law students and comprises all Law Student Societies and Law Student Associations. The annual conference, supplemented by two annual council meetings in February and September, was a chance for delegates from ALSA and all Australian LSS and LSA’s to sit down, share knowledge and discuss upcoming challenges. Alongside these meetings were several competitions open to all Australian law students such as mooting, negotiations and witness examination.

The ALSA council is comprised of elected ALSA committee members and delegates sent from most universities in Australia, usually the President and Vice-President(Education) of each respective LSS/LSA. This year I went to my first conference as Careers Officer for ALSA, over four days I sat down with the rest of the council at ANU and discussed a variety of issues. We discussed many topics such as policies for sexual harassment, how to improve turn-out and engagement at law school events, initiatives for student mental health awareness and ways to tackle to discrimination against smaller and rural law schools. Delegations from the New Zealand Law Student’s Association and the South Pacific Law Student’s Association also contributed in council meetings and delivered speeches detailing the current state of their respective law student association. Council discussions particularly help smaller, younger LSS/LSA’s talk to other universities who have dealt with similar problems and gain invaluable information to improve, whilst also being able to tap into a much larger resource pool than they could on their own. However, ALSA also ensures that older and bigger LSS/LSA’s remain in the loop and accountable for their initiatives and innovations, ensuring a high standard across all law schools.

On the competitions side, there were fierce rivalries and a lot of excitement, especially for the Championship Moot, which was held in the High Court and tackled a problem both written and judged by Justice Gummow.  Competitors were also able to go to a variety of presentations about competition skills and the future of law. However, these things paled in comparison to the social events, which included a gala at Parliament House, wild nights at Academy and Mooseheads and finally a closing event at the War Memorial Museum where Gummow delivered a speech.

ALSA is an organisation that many law students are not aware of, but it is integral in ensuring that the LSS/LSA’s of every university in Australia have open and honest communication with each other. The annual ALSA conference makes this ethos very tangible and to see students from across Australia talking to each other and competing against each other is a powerful thing. I immensely enjoyed my time at conference and would encourage any law students to do more research into ALSA and the 2018 conference, which will be held in Adelaide.

Conor is a second year Law/Finance student. 

Comment: Postal Survey

Rebecca Schneider

It has been 13 years since the Howard government changed the Marriage Act to explicitly disallow same-sex marriage, and this postal survey might be the way Australia finally changes the Act again. If the overall result is yes, the Government follows through and lets a bill be debated in Parliament, and enough MPs follow through and vote yes. It doesn’t need to be this complex.

In Germany recently, there was a one-week turnaround between an acknowledgement that the issue need to be resolved, and the passage of a bill to legalise same-sex marriage – the law will come into effect on October 1st. On October 1st, Australia will be 20 days in to a 57-day survey period to determine if majority public support exists (a question already answered in the affirmative by opinion polls from all sides of politics many times over the last few years).

It’s true that this postal survey will – if it survives the two High Court challenges – probably provide Australia’s first real political pathway to same-sex marriage. It’s probably true that without this, the law wouldn’t change at least until the 46th Parliament in 2019 or later. However, there’s a point where even if it is the only politically feasible way to same-sex marriage, it isn’t worth it.

The absolute hatred and vitriol that the LGBTI* community would be exposed to throughout a debate is very real, and already happening. It’s targeted, misleading, disgusting, and dangerous, often with no actual connection to the notion of same-sex marriage, and often denying the humanity of LGBTI* people altogether. It’s true that this doesn’t stop without the postal survey, however the survey intensifies the opposition.

No person, whether they’re young or otherwise, whether they’ve been dealing with the hatred that gets thrown at LGBTI* Australians for months or decades, deserves to have voices like that amplified against them. There is a way to argue against same-sex marriage without being cruel, but it doesn’t take much to predict the ‘no’ campaign won’t do that. They’re calling themselves a silent majority. They aren’t silent, we know who they are. We know their arguments. We know they’re hurtful, and upsetting, and misleading. We know that giving them a reason to push those arguments even further into the public arena is harmful to LGBTI* people.

This postal survey shouldn’t happen, but if it does, we know what the debate is going to look like. That’s why it’s so important that – even if we think the whole idea of a postal survey on minority rights is ridiculous and offensive – those in support of same-sex marriage vote, and campaign for others to vote, yes. Boycotting the survey won’t make the worst opposition disappear, and nor will supporting LGBTI* people. However, support does so much more to help reduce the impact of harmful debate than silence.

Rebecca is a second year Law/Political Science student.

First Year Section

The First Year Officers

What I’d wish I’d known…

We asked older law students to think back to what they wish they had known from First year. Thank you to all the students who shared their wisdom with us!

How to survive your law studies:
1. Keep on top of the content each week. It is so easy to fall behind on readings and lectures, but if you stay on top of the material you can ask your tutors and lecturers questions, and revise along the way.

2. Put effort into your notes through sesmester, ensuring all tests and rules also mention the case/ statute they are derived from

3. Make the most of your lecturers, tutors, and the academic skills centre. Ask them questions, there is no shame in doing so- they are there to help you, there is no need to stress if you do not understand something at rst

4. Get study buddies! If you can meet up once a week with some friends to just nut out a few points for the tutorial it’ll help you keep up to day somewhat and not waste valuable tutorial time!

5. Learn how to use the legal research online databases (the ones explained in the library seminars)- they make life much easier!

6. Find your most productive study place from the get go and stick to it, whether it be in a café, library or your room. If you end up procrastinating on your phone or laptop, turn your phone o and download the so ware SelfControl onto your laptop- it blocks distracting sites like facebook for however long you want during a study session

7. Don’t compare your marks with other students, it will almost certainly make you feel worse

8. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Marks are not the determining factor of your success.The new Chief Justice of the High Court, Susan Kiefel, dropped out of school at 15. It’s what you do with your law degree that really matters.

How to study for and succeed in assignments and exams:
1. Excelling in law mainly comes down to how well you organise your knowledge so stick to HIRAC like your life depends on it

2. Do group study sessions where you attempt practice problems individually and then compare responses. It will help you to realise the gaps in your knowledge and the different ways to approach a problem

3. Make concise exam notes just containing statements of law, the authorities and short notes explaining concepts. You shouldn’t be relying on your notes too much, only look at them to double check a rule

4. Examiners reward confidence in sifting through which legal questions are and are not relevant. Rather than addressing everything in minute detail, move straight onto the longer more demanding questions.

5. When planning a response, understand the big picture concepts and then tackle the finer details. This way you can establish a base and then build up your answer.

6. Be realistic about what you can get done last minute. If you’re almost at exams and have done barely any lectures or readings, you won’t be able to catch up. Find a previous student’s notes and work through problem questions and past papers. It’s way better than going ham on echo360.

Embarrassing Stories

“I accidentally submitted the draft of my contracts assignment, the final page read “NEED TO FIX THIS””

“Running into the LSS Common Room door head rst a er pre-empting it opening, when it didn’t…”

“My entire legal education.”

“Not remembering people in my class, a er having tutorials with them for almost two semesters. Get to know faces and be nice. It helps.”

Immigration Changes: Supplanting or Supplementing Australian Jobs?

Ashish Nagesh

It is easy to turn our mind to why the 457 visa was created in the first place. To fill skill shortages in the Australian workforce. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton recently announced several changes to the 457 visa scheme and added criteria to citizenship. Many claim that under the veneer of this incentive is a xenophobic agenda. e Australian community has responded with vehement criticism of the changes. e government has cracked down on the skilled migration system intended to supplement the jobs of Australian workers and not supplant them.

The changes made are twofold. The first change is that the 457 visa would be replaced with two additional visas. Anyone with an occupation on the short term skilled occupation list (STOL) are eligible for this visa. e second change involves the medium and long term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). The list of skilled jobs on this list comprises of 657 occupations, of which many have been culled. On a positive note much of the nation’s blacksmiths, cricket umpires and marine farmers can breathe a sigh of relief that the skilled occupation list cut did not go further. In regards to the occupations on the list, cooks were the most popular occupation upon which 457 applications were made, amounting to 6,770 applications.

Despite these changes, many argue the Australian dream for migrants has been replaced by the age old rhetoric used by politicians such as Turnbull and Julia Gillard of putting ‘Australian values and jobs rst.’ e reality is, too o en there is exploitation amongst various occupations in the workforce, and a saturated workforce in teaching and journalism has experienced an oversupply in labour. Misuse of the visas results in downward pressure on wages and what we are now seeing is Australia caught in a wage recession. It is Australian workers and students who are increasingly unemployed due to an oversaturated job market where many 457 visa holders overstay their visas.

Thee important question to ask ourselves is how these changes will affect the legal profession. There are two perspectives through which this can be answered. Jobs like intellectual property lawyers, conveyancers and legal executive roles will be cut from the list. Law is becoming a heavily saturated market with demand greater than supply. Law graduates from Australian universities will struggle to fond jobs where lawyers from foreign countries are working under MLTSSL and STOL visas. Foreign law graduates will compete for jobs against Australian graduates who can apply under the previous conditions and obtain permanent residence a er graduating.

What does Peter Dutton have to say to the changes and what powers does he have? The Migration Act 1958 confers upon him the powers to amend the visas and their criteria. Thinking back to Public Law, he employed his ministerial power granted by the Australian Constitution and stipulated in the statute (The Migration Act(Cth) section 505)) to set the criteria for visa applications. Dutton embedded Australian values in the heart of the visa application, inserting questions which both incite controversy and demand immigrants to assimilate to Australian values. New laws will mean skilled migrants will have to live in Australia for four years as permanent residents before they are eligible to become an Australian citizen. e threshold of the citizen test has increased and the duration of the four years will incentivise and provide families the opportunity to engage with Australian culture and values to before they become citizens of the country.

Engaging with Australian values is not clear cut but here are some of the new questions raising immense debate, that will be added to new visa applications.

• While it is illegal to use violence in public, under what circumstances can you strike your spouse in the privacy of your own home?
• Under what circumstances is it appropriate to prohibit girls from education?

Are these questions poignant and pandering to an agenda? Many people call it Dutton’s attempt to win back support from parties such as One Nation Party. Nevertheless, many Australians see these changes as representative of core Australian values to end domestic violence and achieve equitable education, and those who oppose these should frankly not be permitted to become Australian citizens.

The process becomes more difficult, with an added stand alone English test which is increased in difficulty and becomes a tedious process for those migrants who have already completed an English test such as the IELTS before acquiring their permanent visas. Hence, it is redundant to impose another English test on top of this. The changes will ultimately have an adverse impact on many occupations which currently employ 457 visa holders and have not been warned of the sudden changes; they will now have to re-evaluate their business goals and position.

Perhaps there has been an overreaction in the media to sell news and turn this into a sensitive debate. Despite some minor flaws with the implementation of the new visa changes, it should be welcomed by the Australian public, as cracking down on wage exploitation and increasing the agenda for Australian values is key to our nation. The 457 visa should not be ‘an easy passport to obtain Australian jobs.’ e changes will still allow Australian businesses such as the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations to nurture local Australian talent, whilst gathering overseas talent to complement the talent already employed.

The Australian government recognises the need for skilled workers and those with foreign experience, without which businesses cannot remain competitive on the global stage. e new visa program will empower businesses to to selectively recruit the best and the brightest skilled migrants to supplement our workforce, rather than supplant Australian jobs.