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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 9917


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (20:12): There are a couple of things to say about that. First, in relation to your first observation, Senator Lambie, the Australian government has for a very long time now—and this is a policy adopted by both sides of politics—opposed the death penalty, and we make representations to other countries of our position. And we, through various other measures in our international engagements—for example, through policing agencies—do everything we can to stop the death penalty. There are lots of Australians—you are obviously one—who believe in the death penalty, but this country, as a matter of government policy, does not support the death penalty. Nor do I.

Let me add to something I said to you in relation to the renunciation-by-conduct provisions. Sections 33AA and 35 apply to people who are dual citizens who are actually already overseas, so the suggestion that we are sending them overseas in fact is not germane. That part of the provisions of this bill assumes that the person is already overseas, because if they are at home then they are dealt with under section 35A. But if they are overseas they are dealt with by sections 33AA or 35.

I have seen the media reports in relation to what the United States is doing to expand its mission somewhat in the Middle East. The Australian government's commitment is, as was announced by the previous Prime Minister, an advise and assist mission with the Iraqi defence force, and it is a contribution to the air mission conducted by the RAAF in coalition with the United States and several other nations.