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Wednesday, 30 November 2005
Page: 172


Senator Ludwig asked the Minister for Justice and Customs, upon notice, on 4 August 2005

With reference to the matters that were referred to the Director of International and Operations:

(1)   For each of the years 2001 to date: (a) how many matters were referred; and (b) to which countries did these matters relate.

(2)   What action was taken on these matters?

(3)   Of these matters, how many were referred to: (a) the Minister for Justice and Customs; and (b) the Attorney-General.

(4)   Of those matters referred to the Minister for Justice and Customs and the Attorney-General, what action was taken?

(5)   Was the Bali 9 case referred to: (a) the Director of International and Operations; (b) the Minister for Justice and Customs; or (c) the Attorney-General; if so, what action was taken in relation to that specific matter.

(6) (a)   Can a copy be provided of the current mutual assistance manual used to cover informal police-to-police assistance rendered before charge; (b) when was this manual last revised; (c) are any revisions currently being undertaken; and (d) are any revisions planned.

(7)   Are the mutual assistance procedures different in countries with the death penalty to those countries without the death penalty; if so, what is the difference; if not, why not.


Senator Ellison (Minister for Justice and Customs) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1)   For the periods where data is held it is not in a format readily adaptable for the question and would consequently take an undue diversion of resources to prepare. On this basis it is not proposed to answer this question.

(2)   See answer to question 1.

(3)   See answer to question 1.

(4)   See answer to question 1.

(5)  

(a)   The AFP Manager International Network (previously known as Director International Operations) was involved in the operational decisions relating to the provision of information to the Indonesian National Police (INP). As a result of operational discussions, authorisation was provided to convey information to the INP through the AFP’s International Network liaison officer based in Bali.

(b)   The AFP’s first briefing to the Minister for Justice and Customs in relation to this police operation occurred directly after the 17 April 2005 arrest of the Australians in Bali. No member of the Australian government was briefed prior to this time. As a matter of policy the Minister is not advised of operational decisions prior to the resolution of the operation.

(c)   The AFP’s first briefing to the Attorney General in relation to this police operation occurred directly after the 17 April 2005 arrest of the Australians in Bali. No member of the Australian government was briefed prior to this time. As a matter of policy the Attorney General is not advised of operational decisions prior to the resolution of the operation.

(6)  

(a)   The AFP Practical Guide on International Police to Police Assistance in Death Penalty Charge Situations was formulated in 1993. This document was tabled on 24 May 2005 during the Senate Legal and Constitutional, Estimates hearings.

(b)   To date no amendments have been made to The AFP Practical Guide on International Police to Police Assistance in Death Penalty Charge Situations.

(c)   No.

(d)   AFP Policies and guidelines are regularly reviewed to ensure they adhere to Government policies and international conventions.

(7)   Mutual assistance is governed by the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987. Under section 8 of the Act, where a foreign country requests assistance to investigate an offence which carries the death penalty, the Attorney-General or the Minister for Justice and Customs has a discretion to refuse to provide the assistance. Where a foreign country requests assistance where a person has been charged with, or convicted of, an offence which carries the death penalty, the Attorney-General or the Minister for Justice and Customs must refuse to provide the assistance unless there are special circumstances. Special circumstances include where the evidence would assist the defence, or where the foreign country undertakes not to impose or carry out the death penalty.