Records of Just Defence

Scope and Content

Minutes, business papers, publications and events, correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

Just Defence was a membership-based non-party organisation that grew out of concerns about the threat of nuclear war during the early 1980s. It affirmed an approach to national defence that was non-provocative, non-nuclear with a view to preventing war by seeking consensus and creative problem solving. Co-founded by Professor Frank Barnaby and Stan Windass, it was launched in 1983. The group encouraged discussion of defence issues at conferences and seminars, and produced reports, newsletters, briefings and other publications. What is Just Defence ? By Frank Barnaby and Stan Windass (Just Defence, 1983) outlined the ideas behind the organisation. Just Defence New Zealand was launched in December 1985 following a talk there by John Ziman. Just Defence created a Charter in 1987, using the UK general election to gain publicity. Signatories to the Charter, which called for non-provocative defence and progressive disarmament, included politicians, bishops, military experts and academics. Barnaby and Windass were initially co-directors; Barnaby later took on the role of Chairman. Just Defence was run by a working group or Core Group. An advisory council included many influential people such as Professor Joseph Rotblat, Sir Richard Doll and Brigadier Michael Harbottle. Other active individuals represented in the archive include Lesley Andrews, Morris Brodie, Ken Carter, Pat Craig, Heinz Dessau, Commander Rob Green, Bill Hawthorne, Jake Jacobs, Alastair Mackie, Peter Norton, Muriel Seltman and Derek Wellman. The archive lacks evidence relating to the ending of the group, but it appears to have been wound up circa 1995.


We have retained the existing arrangement, which appears to have been created by someone involved with Just Defence prior to the donation.

Access Information

Available to researchers, by appointment. Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation. This Archive contains correspondence and other items likely to contain personal data so access to these files is restricted under the Data Protection Act pending further cataloguing. This will be carried out in response to user demand so individuals are encouraged to inform Special Collections of their interest in this material.

Acquisition Information

Donated to Commonweal during the late 1990s.

Other Finding Aids

A basic boxlist has been produced to make the Archive accessible as quickly as possible. This will be further refined in response to user demand.

Archivist's Note

Described by Alison Cullingford, July 2015.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of Special Collections staff, subject to copyright law and the condition of the originals. Applications for permission to make published use of any material should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian in the first instance. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

The archive was received in good order without apparent duplicates or irrelevant material.


No further accruals are expected.

Corporate Names