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Thursday, 23 June 2005
Page: 2

Senator GREIG (9:33 AM) —I move:

   That the Senate—

(a)   recalls that on 2 December 2002 and 7 December 2004 it referred a proposed agreement between Australia and the United States of America (US), pursuant to which Australia would agree not to surrender US nationals to the International Criminal Court without the consent of the US (the proposed agreement) to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties for inquiry and report, and that this reference was reiterated on 30 August 2004;

(b)   notes that, despite the clear will of the Senate, the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties continues to refuse to commence any inquiry until such time as the proposed agreement has been finalised;

(c)   further notes that:

(i)   the Government has indicated that its negotiations with the US for the proposed agreement are ongoing and that a model agreement has been circulated,

(ii)   the US has entered into at least 95 such agreements with other nation states, and

(iii)   there is widespread evidence regarding these agreements, including various legal opinions;

(d)   expresses the view that, given the significance of such an agreement, it is desirable for the Parliament to consider its implications before it is negotiated to completion, rather than after; and

(e)   refers the proposed agreement to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report by 30 October 2005, with particular reference to the following matters:

(i)   whether the proposed agreement would breach the terms, or be otherwise inconsistent with the spirit, of the Rome Statute which Australia has ratified,

(ii)   the effect of the proposed agreement, either itself or in conjunction with similar agreements between the US and other states, on the ability of the International Criminal Court to effectively fulfil its intended function,

(iii)   the implications of any extradition provisions in the proposed agreement and whether the proposed agreement would require the re-negotiation of existing extradition agreements to which Australia is a party, and

(iv)   the implications of the proposed agreement with respect to Australia’s national interest.

Question negatived.