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Thursday, 25 September 2014
Page: 7234

Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandDeputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, Vice-President of the Executive Council, Minister for Arts and Attorney-General) (19:28): It is a material. Under the Acts Interpretation Act, it is a material to which a court may have regard in construing an act. We have used the word 'torture'. Torture has received meaning in international law, because it is defined in international instruments to which Australia is a party. Australian domestic law reflects what is now a commonly understood definition of 'torture'. The EM directs the attention—not that I would imagine it would be necessary, given there is a received meaning of this concept in law—of any court that might be called upon to construe this provision to the definition in that instrument.