No more getting other countries to do it for us

Good news about an Australian Attorney General actually standing up for the country’s laws:

THE country’s first legal officer has made a bid to ensure Australia’s policy of opposition to the death penalty is reflected in law enforcement cooperation with other countries.

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland and Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, announced a new policy to govern law enforcement cooperation with countries that may apply the death penalty.

McClelland and O’Connor announced that new Australian Federal Police guidelines governing police-to-police assistance in possible death penalty cases would take effect from December last year.

No more (well, much less, anyway) “we can’t execute you – but they can” trickery by authorities. About time.

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36 responses to “No more getting other countries to do it for us

  1. Jeremy, on a completely unrelated matter, (and I hate to derail your thread but there’s no open forum), but speaking of legal machinations, you might be interested to read this: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/10/MNG21BF0FM.DTL&type=gaylesbian

  2. Yeah, that’ll probably be my next post. Particularly the weird determination of the anti-gay groups to get the courts to hide the identity of everyone smearing gay people.

    In the meantime, this one’s about Australia stopping getting around principle by just making sure the stuff we can’t do is done offshore.

    Pity the ALP won’t apply that principle to the “pacific solution”.

  3. Sheer genius. Now we can stop assisting the Yanks with terror investigations because the terrorists might get executed if convicted in a US court.

    Recently we have pissed off India, China and Japan, and now we are gunning for the Yanks. Thank heavens for the great statesman Krudd, flexing his morals and cementing Australia’s roaring-mouse reputation.

  4. Yeah, ‘cos the US never withholds information from us when they feel like it.

  5. Right on, brother. Who needs Amerikkka! What benefit have we ever got from those capitalist mofos?

  6. Ah, I see what you did there. You cynically attempted to portray my entirely accurate comparison between the US withholding information from Australia and us doing the same on occasion, as if it were decrying the entire existence of that country and suggesting it’s represented by the KKK.

    Nicely done.

  7. this policy was probably created after the AFP was caught giving Indonesian police the evidence needed to sentence the Bali nine to death… instead of arresting them in Sydney airport(they had more than enough proof).

    surprisingly the sydney herald broke that news, a rare lapse of journalism for them

  8. Another Howard hypocrisy quietlt disposed of. Keep up the good work, Rudd government.

  9. Jeremy, what does “when they feel like it” mean, apart from a casual and arbitrary exercise of power. I see what you have done! Avoided the real issue with an idiotic negative imputation.

    The issue you haven’t addressed is whether we should decline to participate in terror investigations with countries that allow the death penalty for terrorist crimes. Sanctimonious moralising is a rarely amounts to effective diplomacy.

  10. “Jeremy, what does “when they feel like it” mean, apart from a casual and arbitrary exercise of power. “

    Which is a poor description of US foreign (and international law enforcement) policy how?

    “The issue you haven’t addressed is whether we should decline to participate in terror investigations with countries that allow the death penalty for terrorist crimes.”

    While they insist on capital punishment, despite the massive injustices it occasions, we certainly shouldn’t hand those people over, no.

    Execution is wrong, and we should not have any part in it.

    “Sanctimonious moralising is a rarely amounts to effective diplomacy.”

    You mean “principle”?

  11. From the link:

    The new guidelines will require ministerial approval of assistance in any case in which a person has been arrested, detained, charged with, or convicted of, an offence which carries the death penalty.

    Under the new rules, the AFP Commissioner is required to report twice yearly to the Minister for Home Affairs about the number and nature of cases where information is provided to foreign law enforcement agencies in potential death penalty cases.

    It looks to me like this new law will make governments more accountable for these issues, rather than individual agencies and their personnel. What exactly is the problem here SB?

  12. Hopefully this will result in peddlers of filth getting 5-10 year sentences for smuggling rather than life or execution. Cause everyone makes mistakes you know? Its not like countries that have the death penalty for executions make this fact public!

    Sorry, not much sympathy for people caught doing nasty stuff in foreign countries as long as the judicial processes over there are sound. If we increased out sentences for certain crimes (drug smuggling in particular) I would greatly support prosecuting here if the AFP can achieve it.

  13. IF there’s an argument for the death penalty, drug smuggling isn’t it.

  14. Apparently if Australia had information vital to the conviction of Khaled Sheik Mohammad, we would not share that information with the Yanks because KSM has been arrested for a capital crime. Brilliant eh?

  15. How odd that you completely ignored confession’s question, SB.

    We’ll get back to your “worst mass murderer” extreme example in just a minute. First, do you agree that we shouldn’t be handing over people committing more minor crimes – say drug smuggling – to countries that will execute them? Eg the Bali Nine?

  16. Jeremy, the example I gave is an answer to Confessions’ question – it is an example of exactly what the problem is!

    The Bali 9 weren’t handed over – they went there voluntarily to further their criminal enterprise.

  17. Skepticus Autartikus

    There is actually a simpler solution. Don’t become a heroin traficker.

  18. That’s not a solution for us in dealing with heroin traffickers.

    And nor is handing them over to regimes that will execute them.

    The “War on Drugs” is far more devastating and hurts far more lives than any trafficker could ever hope to.

  19. SB, not only could they have stopped the traffickers at the airport, but they promised the family of at least one of the traffickers – who, correct me if I’m wrong, fully co-operated with the AFP – that they would.

    Where someone’s life is at stake, what possible justification is there for allowing a preventable crime to take place?

  20. Skepticus Autartikus

    No traffic in heroin, no need to deal with them.

  21. So your solution to dealing with heroin traffickers is what?, Skepticus?

  22. Apparently if Australia had information vital to the conviction of Khaled Sheik Mohammad, we would not share that information with the Yanks because KSM has been arrested for a capital crime.

    I think this is an over-reach. There’s nothing in the information provided that in any way suggests this will occur. If anything, what the link *does* suggest is that if Australia had captured KSM it would be the minister (answerable to parliament and electorate) making the decision whether to hand him to the US, *not* some faceless bureacrat in a government agency. Isn’t this preferable?

  23. Skepticus Autartikus

    Keri

    I am not a racist who thinks I am innately superior to other cultures, and therefore should demand they do as I do.

  24. No, you’re a racist who thinks that something that’s wrong for us to do is okay for other people just because they’re from a different country.

  25. Skepticus Autartikus

    Did you really type that?

  26. Why yes, new troll. I did. Did you really try to call Keri “racist” for asking you what you think we should do with drug traffickers?

  27. “Apparently if Australia had information vital to the conviction of Khaled Sheik Mohammad, we would not share that information with the Yanks because KSM has been arrested for a capital crime. Brilliant eh?”

    Wilfully misrepresent argument much?

  28. Lol. Asking someone what their suggestions to a problem are is racist?

    Hilarious. Now, you could answer the question, and I could refute your inane insult with pointing out that I’m not asking anyone else to do anything at all, simply asking the AFP to stop our citizens from entering a country with heroin strapped to them when they know full well they’ll get shot for it. So unless you’re suggesting the AFP are a race, I fail to how I could possibly be “racist”

  29. Keri: they promised the family of at least one of the traffickers – who, correct me if I’m wrong, fully co-operated with the AFP – that they would.

    Do you really believe that – that the AFP could or would make such a promise? Who exactly in that organisation could, in fact, make such a promise?

    I don’t get what the fuss is about. Some morons go to Indonesia to traffic heroin and pay the price. The only sympathy they deserve is if they get edged out of top spot in the Darwin awards.

  30. You commit crimes in Australia you are subject to Australian law – you do them overseas, you are subject to their law. The bali 9 were not street corner peddlers – they were bringing in kilo’s of the stuff and some of them had done so before. They were caught at an international airport with the stuff strapped to their bodies at probably (we don’t know) the first available opportunity for a law enforcement entity to apprehend them in the act. If we put doubt in the minds of the Indonesians about whether we are cooperating with them, which includes sharing information, how does that help policing international crime? Think about what would the consequences be if the AFP knew about a drug shipment going on in Indonesia, didn’t tell the Indonese authorities who later found out that the AFP knew – way to further cooperation. Not to mention that the Australin taxpayer is now not footing the bill.

    Sorry, but I save my sympathy for people who deserve it. People who want to earn fast money risking their lives to bring in a harmful substance do not qualify as such. If you want to risk your life to earn a fast buck and go into it with your eyes open, well, prepare to be face the consequences that have always existed and have been well publicised. Billions of people don’t traffic drugs – join their ranks. For the rest, well don’t get caught in SE Asia.

  31. The issue is not the crime committed or whether people feel sorry for the Bali 9.

    The issue is Australia opposes the death penalty. It is not a form of punishment we have as it is barbaric.

    Yet, despite the fact we could’ve arrest those responsible for trafficking in Australia, the AFP chose to share the information with Indonesia, where they do have the death penalty. It’s capital punishment by proxy. This policy seeks to rectify this absurd scenario.

    By all means let’s debate the punishments for drug traffickers but we also need to discuss why the manufacturers never seem to be the mules, only the poor and stupid, often desperate for money.

  32. Exactly.

    And “pay the price”? An unjust, extreme price that is well beyond what Australian law considers acceptable. The agents of Australian law should not be using other countries to get a higher “price” out of their targets.

  33. “By all means let’s debate the punishments for drug traffickers but we also need to discuss why the manufacturers never seem to be the mules, only the poor and stupid, often desperate for money.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2009/dec/13/drug-money-banks-saved-un-cfief-claims

    manufacturers are connected at the highest levels of government and industry. no way they would expose themselves on risky courier missions, that job goes to patsies

  34. I am still none the wiser as to the OTT hysteria on this. This seems a perfectly reasonable and sensible legislative amendment which not only aligns an important aspect of our international law enforcement cooperation with domestic legal stance, but brings greater potential accountability to that cooperative effort.

  35. “Do you really believe that – that the AFP could or would make such a promise? Who exactly in that organisation could, in fact, make such a promise?”

    Do you really believe that a father would tip off the AFP and then fully co-operate with the investigation without such a promise? Knowing that it would likely result in the death penalty?

    The issue here is simple. Our government vocally opposes the death penalty. We attempt to intercede on our citizens behalf when they are sentenced to the death penalty, regardless of the crime they have committed. This legislation brings the law enforcement agencies in line with that policy. It’s consistent, and avoids a similar scenario again.

  36. Fred Phillips

    “I don’t get what the fuss is about. Some morons go to Indonesia to traffic heroin and pay the price. ”

    In other words, they deserve to die. Nice one.

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