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Anti-Genocide Bill 1999

CHAIR —On 14 October 1999, the Senate referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee for inquiry and report the following matter arising from the introduction of the Anti-Genocide Bill 1999:

(1) The adequacy of Australia's implementation of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and other relevant international obligations, with particular reference to:

a.the formulation of an appropriate definition of genocide;

b.the status of the convention under Australian law, particularly with reference to the decision of the High Court in Minister of State for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs v. Ah Hin Teoh;

c.laws in other jurisdictions that have implemented the convention;

d.the appropriateness or otherwise of the retrospective application of the provisions of the bill;

e.the implications of the Federal Court decision on 1 September 1999 in Nulyarimma v. Thompson;

f.the extraterritorial application of Australian law, particularly as it may relate to East Timor; and

g.the relationship between Australian and international criminal law enforcement mechanisms for bringing perpetrators of genocide to justice.

(2) The committee, in its report, is also required to include suggested draft amendments to the bill.

The committee is required to report by 30 June 2000. The committee invited a range of individuals and organisations to make submissions and it advertised the terms of reference in newspapers in all capital cities on 20 November 2000. The committee has received 33 submissions. All of the submissions have been made public. This is the first of the committee's public hearings. The second hearing will be held in Melbourne on Tuesday, 16 May 2000.

[8.56 a.m.]