Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


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

1:19 pm

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

The government's position is that we agree with your understanding that the proposed amendment is intended to alter the standard of fault which applies to an element of the offence of assisting, encouraging or inducing the commission of a prohibited act from 'intention' to 'knowledge'. As indicated, the government does not support your proposed amendment, being the amendment of the Greens Party. As currently drafted, the bill will ensure that all conduct that is prohibited by the convention is the subject of a criminal offence under Australian law. The offences in the bill have been drafted on the basis of a reasonable interpretation of the convention. We consider that a reasonable interpretation of the convention is that a person who assists, encourages or induces another person to undertake prohibited conduct must also intend that the prohibited conduct be done. This interpretation is consistent with the object and purpose of the convention, which is to prohibit the use of cluster munitions. I repeat, Senator, that, as we discussed last night in the committee stage, I think it is entirely unremarkable that Australia consulted with its alliance partner, the United States, and developed a common position insofar as we could maintain our commitment to support the convention while sustaining that alliance. I think, as I said to you last night, there are no revelations in WikiLeaks worthy of that name, rather the mundane conduct of diplomacy between friends.


No comments