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Government's "just-in-time" management clears International Criminal Court.

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Senator Brian Greig Australian Democrats Law and Justice spokesperson

27 June 2002 MEDIA RELEASE 02/340

Government’s “Just-in-Time” Management clears International Criminal Court The Government’s just-in-time decision to ratify the Rome Statute and sign on to the International Criminal Court is appreciated by the Australian Democrats, but this rush could have been avoided if the legislation had been accepted without the Government’s overriding condition.

Australian Democrats Law and Justice spokesperson, Senator Brian Greig, says active involvement in the ICC from its inception is the best way of ensuring it complies with internationally accepted standards of justice. Unfortunately, misconceptions were evident in the Australian debate over the ICC, and this slowed down the signing process.

“It has been argued that the Court will be political, will not meet the basic standards of fairness and independence required for the trial of serious crimes,” Senator Greig said.

“But, as far as the interests of humankind are concerned, the most perilous action is inaction.”

First Wave of Anti-terrorism Bills Pass the Senate The Government’s significantly amended Anti-terrorism laws including those dealing with proscription of organisations, passed today despite Australian Democrats’ opposition.

Democrats Law and Justice spokesperson, Senator Brian Greig, says it is very disappointing the Government and ALP have compromised on this issue.

“Proscription, or the criminalisation of membership, is effectively guilt by association,” Senator Greig said.

The Democrats join with the Law Council of Australia in believing the Government should focus on activity, rather than association.

Contacts: Senator Brian Greig, 02) 6277 3338 or Di Graham on 0417 177 523