Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010; In Committee

12:48 pm

Photo of David FeeneyDavid Feeney (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence) Share this | Hansard source

It is not a loophole, Senator Ludlam. This is a piece of legislation that keeps faith with the convention and encompasses the interoperability provisions that we need as a matter of practical application to our alliance with the United States. And I do not accept that the government are out of step with other countries in the way you have asserted. Obviously, you have plucked out some examples, but there are of course many other examples we could talk about. We could talk about China, Russia and the Republic of Korea. We could talk about Israel. We could talk about Egypt, India and Pakistan. Clearly, this is a complicated question and there are different and complicated circumstances in different parts of the world. The government are ensuring that the convention is faithfully implemented by Australian law, and as a matter of policy we are telling you how we intend to realise that. Australia's interpretation of the convention is similar to that of other governments, including those of the United Kingdom, Canada and France, and each country implements its obligations in accordance with its domestic processes and requirements. I do not pretend to be an expert on how Guatemala or Austria makes its decisions and reaches its conclusions about this matter, but I can certainly talk about how Australia has done so. The government are very proud of the fact that we have supported this convention, brought legislation to this parliament that would give life to our support for ratifying the convention.


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