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Death penalty: consistency of the Coalition's position.



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Fri, 31st October 2008 DEATH PENALTY: CONSISTENCY OF THE COALITION'S POSITION

Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate

Senator the Hon George Brandis SC Shadow Attorney-General

The Coalition today reinforces Australia’s approach to capital punishment, noting that it has been and continues to be a bipartisan policy that the Coalition maintains.

Australia’s opposition to capital punishment is well known internationally and we are one of 60 parties to the Second Optional rotocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which requires State Parties to abolish the death penalty within their jurisdiction.

Australia is strongly committed to the principles espoused by the Second Optional Protocol and encourages its universal ratifiction.

The Coalition respects the legal systems and processes of other countries, just as we ask other countries to respect our own legal system.

Consistent with this long‐standing policy, the Coalition will support the Australian Government to make representations on behalf of Australian citizens who are given th death penalty and seek clemency on their behalf.

We continue to make strenuous representations on behalf of those whom the Government has obligations to protect, such as the three Australians in Indonesia facing the death sentence.

The Coalition recognises that the crimes of the Bali Bombers were heinous, involving the premeditated murder of over 200 innocent people including 88 Australians.

In cases involving non‐citizens, there is no obligation on the Australian Government to advocate that the Indonesian Government take any particular course of ation.

The Bali bombers have been tried and convicted and their sentence is a matter for the Indonesian legal process.