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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 3992

To the Honourable the Speaker and the Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled. The petition of the undersigned residents of Australia respectfully showeth:

That the humble petitioners have grave concern about recent changes in the Extradition (Foreign States) Act of 1966 which deny basic rights which have been a cornerstone of the English and Australian law for over seven hundred years. We are speaking of the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the right of an individual to defend himself against his accusers. This concern has come to light during recent extradition proceedings against Messrs Hempel and Etheredge in Western Australia.

We are concerned that because judicial protection of these basic rights has been excluded from the Act refugees, migrants, Australian overseas travellers, and visitors are at risk when they have been to (or come from) countries where the norms and practices of human rights and civil liberties are below traditionally accepted Australian standards.

We, the undersigned petitioners, therefore urge the Government to re-examine the Extradition (Foreign States) Act (as amended in 1985), and amend the current Act so that the rights of the accused are once again judicially protected in Australia.

In addition, we urge the Government to refrain from entering into any further extradition treaties or proceedings under the current Act until the process of re-examination and amendment of the Act has occurred.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

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