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Thursday, 20 March 1980
Page: 1097


Mr Dawkins asked the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 25 October 1979:

(   1 ) Will he indentify which laws of Australia he referred to in his answer to question No. 3309 [Hansard. 9 October 1979, page 1798).

(2)   Which of these laws protect Australian citizens from violations of their privacy by foreign governments or their agencies.

(3)   With which countries does Australia have formal agreements in relation to the collection of information concerning Australian residents.

(4)   Are any countries prevented from engaging in this activity; if so, which countries.


Mr Malcolm Fraser - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) There are Commonwealth and State laws which inter alia prohibit trespassing on private property, arbitrary search of premises, use of listening devices to overhear private conversations and the interception of telephone conversations. It is this general body of law which in effect protects the privacy of Australians that I referred to in my answer to House of Representatives Question No. 3309. The representatives of foreign governments in Australia have a duty to respect Australian laws and regulations.

The adequacy of Australian privacy laws is currently the subject of an investigation by the Law Reform Commission.

(3)   and (4) Australia is a party to five multilateral conventions, the terms of which require Australia to give other states party to the conventions information concerning Australian residents. These conventions are:

(1)   Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents. (Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 14 December 1973).

(2)   Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961. (Done at New York on 30 March 1 96 1 ).

(3)   Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation. (Done at Montreal on 23 September 1971).

(4)   Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft. (Done at the Hague on 16 December 1970).

(   5 ) Convention on Offences and Certain other Acts Committed on board Aircraft. (Done at Tokyo on 14 September 1963).

States party to at least one of the above conventions are:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi, Byelorussian S.S.R., Cameroon U.R., Canada, Cape Verde Is, Chad, Chile, China, P.R. of, Columbia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, German D.R., Germany, F.R. of, Ghana, Granada, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, R. of, Kuwait, Laos P D R., Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria,

Norway, Oman. Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea. Paraguay. Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Rawanda, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa. Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan. Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland. Syrian Arab Republic. Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia. Turkey, Uganda. Ukrainian S.S.R., United Kingdom. Upper Volta, Uruguay, U.S.A., U.S.S.R., Venezuela. VietNam, S.R. of. Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia.

Australia also has bilateral extradition treaties with the following countries under the terms of which information concerning Australian residents charged with criminal activities in one of those countries would be provided to the authorities of that country:

Albania, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile. Colombia, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, El Salvador. Finland, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary. Iceland, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Liberia, Luxembourg. Mexico. Monaco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama. Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United States of America, Uruguay, Yugoslavia.







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