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Howard buckles to ALP pressure on Criminal Court.



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K i m W i l k i e K i m W i l k i e K i m W i l k i e K i m W i l k i e MEDIA STATEMENT MEDIA STATEMENT MEDIA STATEMENT MEDIA STATEMENT

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Howard buckles to ALP pressure on Criminal Court The Federal Government’s approach to ratification of legislation dealing with the International Criminal Court has been nothing short of a farce.

Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, Swan MP Kim Wilkie, said the Government’s Keystone Cops approach to treaty making has sent a regrettable message to the outside world.

He said pressure from the Opposition was clearly behind today’s capitulation by the Prime Minister. Mr Howard was also desperate to “save the bacon” of Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer and Attorney General Daryl Williams.

“The Prime Minister’s 11th hour announcement does nothing to diminish the obvious rise of reactionary elements within the Coalition, the inability of the Prime Minister to deal with the mis-information spread by members of his own backbench and the deafening silence of Mr Downer and Mr Williams throughout this affair,” he said.

“It still shows that as far as the values and objectives of the Court are concerned, the Prime Minister’s heart simply isn’t in it.”

Mr Wilkie said many of Mr Howard’s reasons for finally supporting ratification only reaffirm provisions that have always been contained within the Statute.

He said Coalition MPs opposed to the Court have been aware of these provisions but have resorted to fear tactics for base political purposes.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT Kim Wilkie, Federal Member for Swan - 0407 513 245