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INTRODUCTION TO SELECTED PAPERS FROM THE 20TH ANNUAL AAPAE CONFERENCE

Alan Tapper

The 20th annual Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics (AAPAE) conference was held at the University of Notre Dame Australia in Fremantle on June 27-30, 2013. This was the first time the conference had been held in Western Australia. The conference convenors were Dr Richard Hamilton and Dr Alan Tapper. The University of Notre Dame Australia has a strong tradition in the teaching of ethics, which made it a very suitable venue for the conference. Another notable feature of the conference was participation of UNDA students taking courses in professional ethics.

The conference theme was 'Achieving Ethical Excellence'. This 12th edi- tion of REIO brings together a selection of papers from the conference, plus one paper not from the conference. In addition, there are five reviews of books written or edited by scholars who have been associated with the AAPAE. The books suggest that ethical research in Australia is alive and well.

This edition of REIO starts off with a chapter by Daniel E. Wueste, based on his keynote address to the conference, entitled 'Promoting Integrity Integritively: Avoiding the Scylla and Charybdis of Abdication and Zealotry'. The chapter addresses the conference theme very directly. Wueste discusses how the quest for 'ethical excellence' can become 'ethical zealotry' and how to avoid it becoming so. His discussion goes to the philo- sophical question of what sort of ethics is needed if integrity is to be fostered.

The remaining chapters treat the issue of ethical excellence in the context of ethics in organisations, as is only appropriate for this volume.

Hugh Breakey (current President of the AAPAE) contributes a very thoughtful chapter on the separation of powers ('Dividing to Conquer: Using the Separation of Powers to Structure Institutional Inter-Relations'). Breakey's interest is in the 'myriad strategies' put forward by Machiavelli, Locke, Montesquieu, Kant and Madison to bring about the dispersal of power, but without preventing clear decision-making. For them the disper- sal of power is essential to the promotion of integrity. Breakey shows how their debates are still very relevant today.

Matthew Beard's chapter ('Enriching Rights: Virtue and Sacrifice in Just War Theory') seeks to take a virtues ethics approach to our understanding of the idea of sacrifice in the military. He deals with three themes: the degree of sacrifice that is morally expected in war; education that prepares soldiers for sacrifice; and the place of forgiveness in considering the sacri- fices of enemy soldiers.

One sub-theme of the AAPAE conference was ethics in sport. Two chapters on that topic are presented here. Sandra Lynch, Daryl Adair and Paul Jonson discuss 'Professional Athletes and Their Duty to Be Role Models'. They emphasise the complexity of moral decision-making, with competing imperatives that are difficult to reconcile. Recognition of this complexity is needed in thinking about the issue of athletes as role models.

Joseph Naimo looks at 'Ethics and the Art of Sport Governance', focus- ing mainly on the illicit drugs policy of the Australian Football League. He also discusses the league's policy on gambling. Overall he thinks that Australian football should see itself as a 'community of practice', with an understanding of its own 'internal goods' that can be the basis for ethical education on the league.

The two remaining chapters focus on 'ethics training' in corporations.

Howard Harris discusses 'Ethics Training for Corporate Boards'. Can boards of directors benefit from ethical training? Harris acknowledges that 'ethics is learnt through practice and example' and presents a case for prac- tice and example leading to greater integrity in board processes. Introduction 3

Finally, in a chapter not from the conference, Christina M. Scott-Young discusses 'Empowering Employee Voice to Reduce Ethical Risk'. Scott- Young argues that organisations should seek to 'create a safe, ethical eco- system that fosters ethical conduct and encourages and rewards candid employee voice'. She discusses the process of sustaining that 'ecosystem' amongst employees.



 
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