Recommendation of strategy for the abolition of the death penalty applauded
5 May 2016
The Law Council of Australia today commended Parliament on adopting its recommendation to develop, fund and implement a whole-of-government Strategy for the Abolition of the Death Penalty – with a particular focus on countries in the Indo-Pacific and the United States of America.
The recommendations are contained in the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s report into Australia’s advocacy for the abolition of the death penalty tabled today.
The President of the Law Council of Australia, Stuart Clark AM, said the legal sector was delighted that the bi-partisan report has responded to the Law Council’s and the Australian Bar Associations’ submission – which called for the development of a Strategy for the Abolition of the Death Penalty.
“The legal profession has strongly and consistently argued that no person, anywhere in the world, should ever be subjected to the death penalty,” said Mr Clark.
“This is irrespective of their nationality, personal characteristics, the nature of the crime of which they have been convicted, or the time and place of its alleged commission.
“The report’s focus on countries in the Indo-Pacific sends a clear message to our regional neighbours that we will relentlessly campaign for worldwide abolition of the death penalty.”
Mr Clark said that another recommendation – that the Attorney-General’s Department conduct a review of the current legislative arrangements for extradition and mutual assistance – was also strongly supported by the legal profession.
“The Law Council recommended that Australia’s legal framework and arrangements should be strengthened to ensure Australia does not expose a person elsewhere to the real risk of execution,” Mr Clark said.
“The review of the extradition and mutual assistance arrangements has the potential to offer constructive recommendations to ensure that robust protections are in place.”
The report also includes a number of important recommendations aimed at strengthening the Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) processes when it provides assistance to international counterparts.
“We are also pleased with the recommendation for appropriate protocols for agency-to-agency assistance,” Mr Clark said.
Mr Clark commended the report’s recommendations to the Government and committed the Law Council to continuing to work with Government in Australia’s advocacy for the abolition of the death penalty.
Patrick Pantano: Public Affairs
P. 02 6246 3715 E. Patrick.Pantano@lawcouncil.au
Anil Lambert: Media
P. 0416 426 722 E. Anil@hortonadvisory.com.au