You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Protest opposes Howard doctorate ceremony

AAP logoAAP 29/09/2016 Tom Rabe

Protesters could be heard outside the University of Sydney's Great Hall as former prime minister John Howard addressed an audience after receiving an honorary doctorate.

Up to 50 demonstrators rallied outside the hall, delaying Friday's graduation ceremony for about 15 minutes, in anger over the university's decision to honour the former PM.

One man was likely to be charged for breaching the peace, a police spokeswoman said.

Mr Howard received the honour for his work on Australian gun reform, foreign relations and economic policy.

The demonstrators criticised Mr Howard's role in sending Australian troops to the Iraq War.

Mr Howard, who graduated from the university in 1961, described it as a turning point in his life.

As protesters chanted outside, the 77-year-old reflected on his time in public office.

"I often reflected upon the things that we got right, as well as acknowledging from time to time the things we hadn't got right," Mr Howard said.

"Being an intense Australian nationalist, I always thought the balance of the things we got right was quite decisive."

Meanwhile, independent MP Andrew Wilkie criticised the University of Sydney, describing its decision to honour Mr Howard with the doctorate as "preposterous".

"This is the man that took us to war on a lie, and helped create the current anarchy in the Middle East and the terrorist threat we all live with today," Mr Wilkie said.

He said Mr Howard, along with his US and English counterparts George W. Bush and Tony Blair, had the "blood of countless people on their hands" and should go before an international court for war crimes.

More than 100 academics from the University of Sydney signed a petition opposing the honour to Mr Howard, Mr Wilkie said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon