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Thursday, 10 May 2007
Page: 179

Mr Murphy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in writing, on 1 March 2007:

(1)   Has he read an article titled “Government has no legal duty to help Hicks”, which was published in the Canberra Times on 27 February 2007; if not, why not.

(2)   Does he agree with Solicitor-General, Mr David Bennett QC, that a general obligation for the Federal Government to protect Australians abroad “is simply something that the law has never recognised”; if so, why; if not, why not.

Mr Downer (Minister for Foreign Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) As the matter is before the court, it would be inappropriate for me to comment with respect to that particular question.