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Anti-Personnel Mines Convention Bill 1998

Part 1 Introduction

   

1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Anti-Personnel Mines Convention Act 1998 .

2   Commencement

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act commences on a day to be fixed by Proclamation, being a day not earlier than the day on which the Convention enters into force for Australia.

             (2)  If this Act does not commence under subsection (1) within the period of 6 months beginning on the day on which the Convention enters into force for Australia, it commences on the first day after the end of that period.

3   Simplified outline

                   The following is a simplified outline of this Act:

•      This Act implements the Anti-Personnel Mines Convention.

•      It is an offence to place, possess, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile or transfer anti-personnel mines.

•      If a fact-finding mission to Australia is authorised under the Convention, the Minister must appoint each member of the mission as an inspector. Inspectors may enter premises, and exercise powers of inspection, for the purpose of finding out whether the Convention has been complied with.

•      The Minister may require a person to give information that is relevant to Australia’s reporting obligations under the Convention.

4   Definitions

                   In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

anti-handling device means a device that:

                     (a)  is intended to protect a mine; and

                     (b)  is part of, linked to, attached to or placed under the mine; and

                     (c)  activates when an attempt is made to tamper with or otherwise intentionally disturb the mine.

anti-personnel mine means a mine that:

                     (a)  is designed, intended or altered so as:

                              (i)  to be placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area; and

                             (ii)  to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person; and

                     (b)  is capable of incapacitating, injuring or killing one or more persons.

However, a mine that is designed, intended or altered so as to be detonated by the presence, proximity or contact of a vehicle as opposed to a person, and that is equipped with an anti-handling device, is taken not to be an anti-personnel mine as a result of being so equipped.

Note:          A mine that has been permanently deactivated is not an anti-personnel mine since it is not capable of incapacitating, injuring or killing a person.

Australia , when used in a geographical sense, includes the external Territories.

Convention means the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (a copy of the English text of which is set out in Schedule 1), as amended by any amendment of the Convention that has entered into force for Australia (a copy of the English text of which is set out in the regulations).

inspector means a person appointed as an inspector under section 12.

mine means a munition (other than a command-detonated munition) designed, intended or altered so as:

                     (a)  to be placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area; and

                     (b)  to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person or a vehicle.

munition has the technical meaning generally accepted within the defence community.

occupier , in relation to premises, includes a person present at the premises who is in apparent control of the premises.

police officer means:

                     (a)  a member or special member of the Australian Federal Police; or

                     (b)  a member of the police force of a State or Territory.

premises includes the following:

                     (a)  a structure, building, aircraft, vehicle or vessel;

                     (b)  a place (whether enclosed or built on or not);

                     (c)  a part of a thing referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

transfer ownership or control , in relation to an anti-personnel mine, does not include the transfer of the ownership or control of land containing emplaced anti-personnel mines.

5   Crown to be bound

             (1)  This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities.

             (2)  This Act does not make the Crown liable to be prosecuted for an offence.

6   External Territories

                   This Act extends to all the external Territories.