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Notice given 30 September 2009

2367  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship—

(1) (a) For each financial year since the last published figures in 2004-05, how many cases have been referred to the War Crimes Screening Unit (WCSU); and (b) of those cases referred, how many individuals were refused citizenship or a visa on suspicion of having committed war crimes.

(2) Upon refusal of an application does the department notify the relevant state authorities in which the individual resides.

(3) Does the Minister have plans to improve reporting of results of border screening by the WCSU.

(4) (a) How many visas have been refused or cancelled in the past 10 years based on Article 1F of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, that provides that an asylum seeker can be denied protection on the basis there are serious reasons for considering an individual has committed a ‘crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity’; (b) how many of these decisions have been upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT); and (c) of those cases upheld by the AAT, have all these individuals been removed from Australia; if not: (i) how many of these individuals remain in Australia, (ii) for how long have they remained in Australia since the AAT decision, and (iii) what action is the department taking in regard to these individuals.

(5) For the past 10 years: (a) how many suspected war criminals have been extradited from Australia; and (b) on how many occasions has Australia rejected an extradition application from another country for a suspected war criminal.

(6) For what reasons has Australia rejected applications for extradition from other states other than for the lack of prima facie evidence.

(7) How many times in the past 10 years has a person’s visa been revoked for suspicion of having committed a war crime, crimes against humanity or genocide.

(8) (a) Does the department provide any specialised training to staff who conduct visa and refugee interviews to assist them in screening for potential war criminals; and (b) if training is provided, is it offered to all staff that process refugee and visa claims; if not, which staff receive the training.

(9) How many requests has Australia made annually to the following international courts and tribunals to check their databases for information on an individual applying for a visa or citizenship: (a) the International Criminal Court; (b) the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; (c) the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; and (d) the Special Court for Sierra Leone.