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FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE REFERENCES COMMITTEE--REFERENCE

The Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee

(Senator Woods), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a

formal motion, moved--That the following matter be referred to the

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and

report on or before 30 November 1995:

(1) The appropriateness and effectiveness of the Australian

Government's provision of consular assistance to Australians

abroad, taking into account the principles of international law

and practice which provide the framework for such assistance,

including:

(a) issues and problems in dealing with difficult and complex

cases, particularly:

(i) deaths of Australians in criminal and possibly criminal

circumstances, for example, the cases of David Wilson,

Kellie Wilkinson and Ben Maresh,

(ii) foreign judicial proceedings involving Australians,

such as the cases of James Peng and Robert Bowra,

(iii) custody issues involving Australian children, and

(iv) the extent of the Government's responsibility for

providing legal assistance to Australians involved in

judicial proceedingsoverseas;

(b) the provision of other consular assistance, including that

to Australians in foreign jails, in cases of missing

Australians and in cases of Australians in need of support

overseas, such as short-term loans and medical assistance;

and

(c) provision of timely and accurate consular travel advice to

Australian travellers or intending travellers.

(2) Measures that could be taken by the Australian Government to

improve the handling of consular matters.

Question put and passed.