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Reports from Discussion Groups

Page history last edited by George Farebrother 12 years, 2 months ago

(George 13/09).  These reports have now been tidied up.  Highlighted sections refer to possible action ideas which have been summarised underneath as an agenda for our next meeting and suggestions for Working Groups and their remits. For convenience I have coloured these blue. 



1-2 September 2009



Group 1: Talyn Rahman, Jenny Maxwell, Jim McCluskey: How best to approach MPs and decision makers

A.        What authority do we have?

1.          We are citizens.

2.          We can join groups which can give us more power.

3.          We should make sure we are well-informed – this gives us added authority.

4.          We should get to know about those we are approaching.  Go to local meetings and gatherings where your MP is appearing.

B.     Experience of replies to letters and what works best

1.      There is a large variation in replies – some are good and some bad.

2.      be persistent.  If the reply is inadequate, explain why politely.

3.      You can contact civil servants directly.  Their names and areas of responsibility are on the Departmental websites.  Make the initial contact by letter and later try to arrange a face-to-face meeting.

4.      You can contact the working groups within the civil service.  The group titles are on the Departmental websites.

5.         MPs’ positions can be shifted.

C.              How well do visits to surgeries go?

1.         They are advisable and enable an important personal relationship to be built up.

2.         Go even if the MP has a hostile point of view.

3.         Be persistent but polite.

4.         A group of women in Oxford invite the MP to a group meeting, about once a year, on neutral ground, giving advance notice of what the topic under discussion will be. 

5.         There is usually a long queue of people waiting to see the MP, so it’s often better to arrange a separate appointment.

6.         Another alternative to a surgery visit is to invite the MP to a public event or debate with a well-known figure (e.g. Bruce).  This can generate good local publicity.

7.         Don’t slog away at totally intransigent MPs, but look for an alternative

8.         You can hold vigils or demonstrations outside a surgery.

9.         Don’t be confrontational – a good approach is to ask your MP for her/his help.

D.        Early Day Motions

1.         Opinions vary as to their usefulness, but they can send helpful messages to government.

2.         They can help to discover where MPs stand on issues, and identify ones who are likely to be sympathetic to our views.

3.         It might be possible to get your MP to write an EDM jointly with yourself.

4.         They are a useful way of telling your MP what you think, and raising an issue.

5.         Ministers won’t sign.

E.        MPs outside your own constituency

1.         They are likely to be interested only if the matter concerns their constituency.

2.         You can approach them if they are a minister, or on a Select Committee, dealing with your concern.

3.         Look out for Select Committee inquiries, to which individuals can submit evidence.

F.         MEPs

1.         Don’t forget them, even though they are difficult to contact.

2.         Jean Lambert and Caroline Lucas are particularly good.

3.         There are subsidies to take delegations to MEPs.

4.         It’s best to see them in Brussels.

G.        MPs not aware of issues

1.         They have a vast array of issues to cover so need our information.  Many need educating on defence issues.

2.         They are very busy so keep it short and to the point.

H.        Approaching MPs indirectly

1.         Get other organisations, such as churches, trade unions, Women’s Institute, behind you and take concerns jointly to MPs.

2.         Approach via the media.  The media is particularly interested in unusual juxtapositions, e.g. Women’s’ Institute/prostitutes; CND/ex-servicemen; generals/Trident.

3.         Go through an MP’s researcher.

4.         Write to the local press, saying, “I have written to my MP asking …”.  This gives information to the public and, if there has been an unsatisfactory, or no, reply, can shame the MP.

I.          Central bank of interactions with MPs

1.         It would be good to have a central bank of information on MPs, and their letters and statements, particularly when they have said something which they probably shouldn’t have.

2.         We could extend it to include ministers and civil servants.

3.         We must respect off-the-record discussions.

4.         It would be useful to have a list of media contacts, and a moderator to ensure its proper use.

J.         Other - Nato

1.         Nato is currently having a Strategic Concept Review.

2.         The new Secretary General, to whom we can write, is a former Prime Minister of Denmark.

3.         You can give your views on the NATO website, or write to the UK delegate to NATO.

K.        Other besides NATO

1.         Contact with religious communities can be helpful.

 (Powerpoint summary – some of this repeats material above)

¡       Approach as an individual

¡       Approach as an organisation

¡       How to deal with unresponsive/ uninterested MP

¡       The indirect approach

¡       And other decision-makers

¡       We are citizens with vote


-Create a climate of opinion to form a pressure group

- Build traffic on an issue

¡       Mention that your vote will depend on the issue that will be tackled by MP

¡       LETTER


-Provide information within context

- Facilitate them with how you will help

- Suggest amendment

- Be polite, be persistent, be brief

¡       Sign on a personal capacity

¡       Sign on behalf of organisation if there is reasonable agreement or sign as yourself e.g. Co-chair of XXX within an organisational context

¡       SURGERY

- Build a personal relationship

- Ask to be seen last so you are not holding other people up

-Arrange personal meeting


 = not you or your organisation but your viewpoint raised through other bodies. Using organisations to raise issues on behalf, e.g., Trade Union, women’s institutions or faith groups to contact MP. T

-Third party pressure may be seen as more influential.

¡       EDM

-MP either don’t sign out of principle or sign without thinking about it

-Need number of signatures

¡       Approach researcher as they have contact with MP

¡       Compiling bank of responses


(-) Could break trust if private dialogue is shared

¡       Set out parameters

-Tell MP their letter will be published online, so be honest and forthcoming.

¡       If a letter is being ignored or avenue of communication has been stopped, someone else can start up the communication from previous correspondent and start a new rapport

¡       www.theyworkforyou.org




¡       Who do we talk to and WHY? (MP, civil servant, organisational institution like NATO…)

à different reason therefore other channels for target

(especially if letters are simply passed down to  the right authority and then get a general response that doesn’t answer your query)

¡       Think of the role MPs play and ask yourself whether it is better to approach an MP or someone else

¡       Know the advisory group within the government

-By knowing this network you can target better or you even can become part of a steering group

-Look at advisory structure and groups that can be found online

¡       Can write to targeted civil  servants directly

-List of civil servants can be found on website with their special interest

¡       Local papers and national papers

¡       Have set of media contacts and moderator

Keep up the pressure by regularly contacting your

chosen decision-maker


Group 2: Christine Titmus, Pat Haward: How can we develop a bank of useful responses based on the advice of lawyers?  

Two main ideas from groups discussing question two:

1) The formation of an independent lawyers group as a resource for MP's

2) Event in parliament on International Law, for MP's and lawyers.

Independent Lawyers Group

This could provide a badly-needed service for MP's. At present, should they seek information regarding the law, they must rely on party mechanisms, relevant government department, government briefings, a friendly lawyer, Sergeant-At-Arms...where can they go when in need of independent legal advice?

We suggest that, firstly, the idea be promoted to relevant All-Party Parliamentary Groups, with ideas of how it may be created and run. They could then arrange an exploratory meeting in parliament to set up the group of lawyers. Important that the bank of lawyers not be just the 'usual suspects' (less likely with the involvement of all-party groups).

Such a group should be formalised as a resource for MP's, funded by parliamentary channels (NOT via MP's expenses!)  MP's would know they could access a lawyer for a range of information/advice independent of government. We strongly recommend, therefore, that this conference writes to the chairs of selected All-Party groups, offering INLAP's support for example by providing contacts and easing lines of communication. Group members felt confident that a sufficient number - probably 8 to 12 - of public-spirited lawyers would be found to support the idea. 

IN addition to providing much needed independent and accessible legal advice, such a resource has potential to encourage greater support and respect for the law, and improve current generally poor levels of knowledge regarding use of the law and its significance.

Such a group, once constituted and underway, would help establish the principle of independent legal advice for all politicians.

The All-Party groups to be contacted:

Parliament First (Mark Fisher)

International Law

One World

Parliamentarians for Global Action

Conflict Prevention

Another suggestion in connection with the above is for INLAP to offer to provide some content for MP's websites. This could include a button linking to the lawyers' group, to INLAP legal information/discussion pages/ other resources/ lines of communication, links?  INLAP as a web-based service...

The content of their websites is increasingly important to MP's. Yet with limited time and interest they may welcome services such as the above.

International Law Seminar

Very few lawyers, and probably far fewer MP's, know much about international law, or take it seriously. A seminar on this topic, to  explode a few myths and misunderstandings, explain why and how it  benefits individuals (Highlight air traffic control, broadcasting, postal service, law of the sea, and so on -) To be held in parliament for politicians and for lawyers. International Law is a relatively new concept and quickly evolving. Funding for such a seminar may be available from EU/other bodies?

We hope such an event may foster greater respect for and understanding of International Law.

Both the above ideas grew from a realisation that, unless MP’s have high regard for, and an appreciation of, the law, then the use of it in our communications will be less effective. Therefore, to raise and increase MP's awareness/respect is vital.  If we continually cite/question this or that legal position – especially in terms of international law – then unless the MP concerned shares our view of the law's importance, our letter has less clout.

Other  points:

  • Proclaiming its legality can be a 'bridge' for MP's who fear losing face or credibility for supporting a particular position.
  • We could make better use of our history/culture of fairness and justice
  • If we justify our actions via the concept of breaking the law in order to prevent a worse crime, then we must accept that this same reasoning may be applied by some states for justifying nuclear weapons. It is a serious – not silly – argument, for a state to say that, if using a NW breaks the law, then it is worth it to prevent the destruction of that state (the greater crime).
  • Morality is 'the law behind the law' – the public conscience, which informs the law
  • Important to recognise evolution of the law; do not blindly adhere to all law regardless, but remain alert to any need for reform/revision BUT when we DO use the law, we must ensure we are correct in what we present as the law.

1.40 groups

Some discussion of use of books.  Also of possible changes in UN structures, particularly around the separation of powers:  relative to the political power of the Security Council, neither the General Assembly nor the ICJ has any power.

Also of what is achievable when international law is so amorphous and when US law is so intrusive.  GF gave example of how working on Declarations of Public Conscience l994 – 6, before the ICJ hearing, had been effective and morally satisfying.

1.   Example of ICC definition of aggression:  UK government is pushing the Singapore limits on the ICC’s powers which would give the Security Council the right to veto or to influence ICC.    

A campaign is needed to support Robbie Manson (often the only Brit. at meetings apart from the official delegate) before the Kampala meeting in May 2010. 

2.  Following the Scottish Trident Ploughshares case:  international law can be useful.  Local courts, lawyers, judges, police know so little that a jury can gain influence and give a favourable verdict. However, all litigation is risky, so it may be wiser to use other means, e.g. MPs.

3. In Parliament:  use parliamentary questions, including written ones. (Norman Baker’s persistence re US bases has been especially good.) This leads to John McDonnell’s suggestion for legal advice free for MPs:  a mechanism which would provide a ‘cross-political’ group of lawyers responding to MPs’ needs; discussion to use cross-party groups for planning and then for financing.

4. International  Law:  arrange a training day for MPs.  Nick Grief to be available?

5. Can Custom be a legal force to use?  Probably too slippery, leading to too much disagreement.  But practice can lead to legal obligation and recognition under international law.

6.The role of IALANA, which is vigorous in Germany and the US.  But which does not have a branch in UK.  And the position taken by such lawyers as Phillipe Sands and Helena Kennedy.  How useful?

3.20 group

  1. Where possible use the media to publicise international law issues and to educate the public.
  2. Why do states obey international law?  It is in their interests to do so and it was they who created it.  They need observed reciprocity.
  3. How can we make international law stick in domestic courts, particularly regarding weapons, e.g. drones?  The main defence, proportionality, is too slippery.  Perhaps working with other organizations it would be possible to make an offence of selling certain arms, a criminal offence.
  4. Since ‘security’ seems to mean ‘in our state’s interest’, perhaps we need to redefine that.
  5. Use of Freedom of Information?  Do we need a bank of advisors for varied issues?  Could the FoI be used for the ICC issue re the definition of Aggression? Check with N. Baker and Robbie Manson.  But other information may already be available and should be searched first.


Group 3: Will Pritchard: What can we learn from related work carried out by other organisations.  How can we reach out to like-minded groups and to the public, bearing in mind public opinion?


As would be expected, there was much debate within groups. As such, what follows is a summary of the perceived overriding opinion rather than a comprehensive listing of all that was said.


Although some concern was raised regarding the number of smaller organisations operating from a similar viewpoint and with similar intentions, overall it seemed to be the view that, as a “catch all” campaigning group would be impossible, cooperation between organisations with similar goals should be encouraged, rather than allowing conflict to develop due to their similarities.


The importance of targeting was also raised. All manner of organisations exist with the intention of influencing policy at different levels (for example, through local councillors, MPs, MEPs and Ministers). It was thought that attention should be paid to an organisation’s intentions in this respect prior to working with them to ensure they are suitable and complement our work.  


The importance of using existing structures rather than (or at least prior to) creating new structures was stressed by many members of the discussion group. The Network for Peace was raised frequently, and it was felt that the use, for example, of its common events calendar could be more widespread. The general mood was that the network structure, rather than a hierarchical structure, works better for enabling and furthering communication between organisations. It was felt by many that the greater the frequency with which organisations are brought together, be it in a formal or informal context, the better. Milan Rai reminded the group members of how we need to work together to “transform latent public opinion into mobilised pressure” through convincing people that they can make a difference and influence policy both personally and through organisations.


The Sustainable Communities Act 2007 was raised as an example of success through cooperation and coordination between a range of organisations. Further details on the Sustainable Communities Act can be found here –



Possible common goals (i.e those which could be worked towards through cooperation with other organisations) that were suggested included the democratic deficit regarding our representative democracy and the link between climate change and conflict (MAW is already exploring this). 


Participants raised the issue of young people and some commented on the fact that the environmental movement seems to be able to mobilise large numbers of young protesters whilst other movements, such as the peace and justice movement, appear to be less effective in this respect. It was suggested that perhaps cooperation with the environmental organisations involved could be beneficial in increasing our understanding, access to and involvement with young people.

Additional Comment: Lesley Docksey

My thoughts about what we could aim for (this came up in a session I took part in rather than facilitating - what can we learn from other organisations?   As I couldn't stay for all of the reporting back at the end, I don't know if this was mentioned.  I suggested following the methods used by Local Works which resulted in getting the Sustainable Communities Act through Parliament.  In the discussion that followed it was realised that any actions we took needed very clear goals.  And I think the goals (if achieved) should be able to affect more than one area.  For instance, most people (including MPs) want to get rid of the Royal Prerogative but - a year or to ago we had a long discussion with our MP Oliver Letwin about this.  He had really given it some thought as he was in favour of abolishing it. However, he pointed out that anything passed by Parliament would have to have a get-out clause, allowing a Prime Minister to act in an emergency (when there was simply no time to have a vote in Parliament).  Quite reasonable, but it would in the wrong hands create a loophole.

A goal I would love to see achieved is to get the crime of aggression onto the Statute book.  This could affect more than one would think.  For instance, as the crime of aggression includes 'preparation for war', unless a nation had specifically been asked to take part in military exercises in another 'host' country, or their forces were a part of a legitimate peace-keeping force, it could be argued that it would be illegal to move the army beyond one's borders or national waters.  Think about it!


Group 4: Kitty McVey: What systems can we set up (IT and other) for developing and monitoring our future work?

We do NOT need a new organisation Instead we should make BETTER USE of existing communications facilities. So INLAP / WCP should continue. 

NEXT STEP: We start with a basic Wiki then work out from there. This is conference planning Wiki renamed at Ashley's suggestion. ANYONE can use this Wiki for anything relevant to conference theme e.g.:-  

§       List links to websites we should be using, what they are useful for. 

§       List internet buddies to help us do it. 

§       Planning the  next steps 

Everyone’s guide to dialogue with decision-makers AND using the internet to help with that?

Meetings on that joint purpose. 

Legal resource: set up project WITHIN WIKIPEDIA to IMPROVE wikipedia's relevant legal articles. 

Archive of correspondence: proposal to mySociety by Sept 15th  

Political Web Resources (Julian's links for use by everyone at the conference). 

(So prioritise trawling through conference notes for points relevant to that,  and discuss with Julian) 

Not most important but may be most urgent.

Offline system: Network for Peace 

Have our issues as a theme at NfP meetings: ask for a regular corner 

Rosie Houldsworth does dialogue workshops and is willing to do it for us 

Avoid duplication. There is a great deal of material on the web 

We can use free sites but be careful – they can be closed down 

What material can we contribute that is not already available by surfing 

There is a space for an IT portal with info that MPs who are interested in law can use

Wiki seen as a procedural / planning thing not as end product in itself 

A Website would be different – it would have finished material on it 

Information was passed round about the new Trident  website 

Repeated comments - too much information does not have links that are not targeted 

We should ask questions that can only be answered “yes” 

Robert is the mathematician who likes to know the implications of statistics e.g.  75% of people don't support Trident Renewal etc 

In international Law the first publisher owns the copyright.  We should challenge this? 

There does not seem to be much information touching our concerns which is both focussed and targeted.

Network for Peace is struggling, can only just manage its one annual meeting. 

We may meet in Oxford or Huddersfield, not London next time 

Is there any disadvantage to having widest possible access? 

George’s archive consists of photocopies and pdf files of letters. To scan and upload these to create and maintain an archive on web may well be very time-consuming.

We will talk to Julian about the mySociety proposal  

Will said we should take care how we approach young people, noting the response Gordon Brown using YouTube 




George Farebrother, September 2009

Draft Agenda for our next Meeting

Work for the whole Steering Group

1.               A review of the conference (See Mil Rai attachment)

2.               How should we be structured?  How do we understand a “network?  How does the network relate to World Court Project and INLAP? (An early combined meeting of these two organisations is needed).  How would finance be channelled?

What should we call ourselves?  One suggestion (Kitty) is “NetLap” which would be 'serviced by' INLAP, whose role would be to provide the benign scaffolding on which autonomous projects can co-evolve, and not to micro-manage. INLAP would hold the money and dispense it to deserving projects meeting specific criteria. 

When writing as a network do we need a letterhead listing supporting organisations, strapline, logo etc? 

3.               How is work which affects the whole network to be carried out and who by?  

4.               Setting up Working Groups

5.               Can Working Groups take advantage of our Wiki?

6.               Decide on a large-scale event, with a date, early in 2010.  This will provide us with a deadline.

8.         Finance

7.               AOB and Future Meeting(s)

Possible Working Groups

1.         Network Structure (to operate only in the immediate future)

Work on details of decisions made under “Work for the Steering Group”, 2-5 above. 

2.         Work with Local MPs

Prepare briefings for MPs to comment on (see research and publications below)

Find examples of successful contacts with local MPs e.g.

MPs invited to group meetings on neutral ground

Working with other organisations, such as churches, trade unions, Women’s Institute, to take concerns jointly to MPs.

Liaison with MP’s researchers.

Send out briefings to MPs to comment on.

Rosie Houldsworth does dialogue workshops and is willing to do one for us 

Could we offer to provide some content for MP's websites? This could include a button linking to the lawyers' group, to legal information/discussion pages/ other resources/ lines of communication, links? 

3.         ICC and the Security Council

This is a specific project we could work on.  Several people at the Conference were enthusiastic about it and no other group is doing this job.   We could work with Robbie Manson who is the main UK mover in this area.  He could do with help from us in publicising the issue with MPs and putting pressure, through them, on the Government.  One immediate task is to identify individual MPs who might be of help. 

This Working Group would need to liaise with most of the other working groups in preparing briefings, working through Parliamentary Committees, identifying key people in the Ministries, and perhaps setting up an event in Parliament. 

4.         Briefings

We need briefings on the basics of international law, breaking down the INLAP “Laws of Armed Conflict Booklet” and applied to current situations.  These should be A4 single sheets, single-sided if possible.  Many World Court Project and INLAP information sheets are already available. They will provide a resource for us and to members of our organisations, especially when writing to MPs.   They should be published on our website. 

5.         Parliament and the Law

We should plan an event in Parliament, early in 2010, on International Law, for MP's and lawyers. This will probably involve a new Working Group which can only be set up once the other Working Groups are established because it will need to take advantage of their results.

An early job would be to write to the Chairs of relevant All-Party groups (APGs), offering our support, for example, by providing contacts, and easing lines of communication.  These include:

Parliament First (Mark Fisher)

International Law

One World

Parliamentarians for Global Action

Conflict Prevention

We should explore the use of Parliamentary questions, including written ones and identify MPs willing to table them.

The issue of the Royal Prerogative is relevant to many of our concerns.  Mark Fisher MP and his Committee would be useful here.

We should try to encourage the formation of an independent lawyers group as a resource for MP's.  This is connected with the role of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), which is vigorous in Germany and the US but which does not have a branch in UK.  Peacerights has a vague link with IALANA and George is an Associate member of the IALANA Global Council. 

6.         Government Departments

You can contact the working groups within the civil service.  The group titles are on the Departmental websites.

We could investigate the advisory groups and their structure within the government. Some of this information is available online.

We can write to officials directly.  Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW), working with BASIC, has a project on this, deriving, ultimately, from the early work of the Oxford Research Group. The aim is to establish a continuing relationship with a particular official. 

Rosie Houldsworth does dialogue workshops and is willing to do one for us.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) would be of use to us.  Do we need a bank of advisors for varied issues?  Could the FoI be used for the ICC issue regarding the definition of Aggression? Advice would be needed from Norman Baker and Robbie Manson. 

We should follow-up Bill Rammell’s presentation at the Conference.  I have written asking for a meeting to discuss the need for improving responses to letters from officials.  A good outcome would be explore the possibility of regular meetings with officials to review correspondence.  Failing that, we could produce a regular report to send to a well-chosen official.


7.         Research and Publications

We should investigate media contacts and how to use them.  (I have a list of the media I sent press releases to – with no result whatsoever)

Which other organisations have similar concerns and experience of unsatisfactory contacts with MPs and Officials?  These might include churches, trade unions, Women’s Institute.

We can explore the NATO website where we can give our views.  Who is on the UK delegation to NATO?  There is also the NATO Parliamentary Assembly which has UK MPs represented on it.  Can friendly MEPs be of help here?  Are there any others besides Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert?  

Briefings for MPs (See “Working with local MPs above). These could include items on the legality of

The Iraq war

            The war in Afghanistan

            UK collusion in US torture activities

            Our nuclear weapons arsenal

            American Bases in the UK

            UK arms deals (work with CAAT)

            The work being undertaken at Aldermaston (work with CND)

            Participating in America’s ‘Star War’ plans


8.   Liaison with other organisations

Mil Rai has suggested sharing info with Peace News and asking them to put information on their website

Peace News has a session at their Winter Gathering Nottingham Jan 16-17, 2010 and we could do a session on these topics.

We need more information on Info on public opinion and public-government interaction and, if we could afford it, fund an Opinion poll on some of these Questions.

The need to find ways and means of reaching out to younger people was mentioned several times in the Group reports.  

We should find common platforms with other groups and work with them on specific topics, meeting them formally and informally e.g. IANSA, Church groups (e.g. Joint Public Issues Team, Baptist, Methodist & United Reformed Churches). It is noteworthy that environmental groups tend to attract young people. We should stress the link between climate change and conflict.  Another area of possible co-operation is with MAW which is working on the democratic deficit regarding our representative democracy.

The Network for Peace is an organisation of organisations and we should use its Common Events Calendar. 

The methods used by Local Works, a project of Unlock Democracy which resulted in getting the Sustainable Communities Act through Parliament.  They have a website on http://www.localworks.org/

This is an example of success through cooperation and coordination between a range of organisations. Further details on the Sustainable Communities Act can be found here –



9.         Information technology and resources

There is already an IT working Group and all Groups are urged to check their work on the Wiki http://yourmpandwar.pbworks.com/

Various suggestions for the content of a website include:

  • Lists of research results (see 7 above)
  • Archive of letters to MPs and Officials
  • Archive of Parliamentary Questions and answers relevant to our concerns about accountability. 

·       A legal resource:

·       Set up project within Wikipedia to improve its relevant legal articles. 

George’s archive consists of photocopies and pdf files of letters. To scan and upload these to create and maintain an archive on web may well be very time-consuming

Jim has made suggestions on how a new website would look:


1.   A ‘latest news’ feature . 

      This would be the first display that comes up when the site is accessed.

      It will give the latest news with respect to – 

            a. Items about the government breaking (or alleged to be breaking)    domestic and/or international law.

            b. Items about the current work of WCP, INLAP and other organisations in opposing illegal government activities.

            c. Items about the government defending or conspicuously adhering to domestic or international law. 

2.   An Archives Feature

3.   A Publications Feature

4.   A Useful Data Feature

5.   A Useful Links Feature

We shall also need to set up a list-serve. 







Comments (2)

KM said

at 8:52 am on Sep 14, 2009

Thanks pulling this together George. I need to do some further tidying up of what emerged from discussion group 4.

I can see it is going to be an uphill struggle to explain what I meant by network of autonomous co-operators. I'm not at all sure it makes sense to put that on any agenda at present (with or without an explanatory paper). I'll need to think about this (but I'd dearly love to spend a week not thinking about anything to do with law or war).

Andrew Lohmann said

at 7:11 pm on Sep 16, 2009

IT Discussion:

Some concern from those who were a bit technophobic - Buddying was a suggested solution. I think that needs to spelt out, along with information for others (like me) to use when contacting MP's for example in the final outcome from the conference. In other words the two-way support for decision makers and individual working to persuade, both technical and legal.

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