Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


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

1:34 pm

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

I am happy to respond, Senator. Each signatory to the convention is implementing its obligations under the convention in accordance with its domestic processes and requirements. Some countries—for example, Guatemala, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta, Rwanda and Zambia—consider that article 1 of the convention by implication prohibits all forms of investment in companies that develop or produce cluster munitions. Other countries consider that the convention does not prohibit investment but have nonetheless enacted legislation prohibiting all forms of investment in companies that develop and produce cluster munitions—for example, Belgium and, as I think you cited, Luxembourg.

In the case of Belgium and Luxembourg this legislation was not enacted on the basis of any legal obligation arising under the convention. Countries are not precluded from deciding as a matter of policy to adopt measures regarding investment that go beyond those in the convention. Other countries, such as Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom, have not included a prohibition on investment as part of their legislation to implement the convention. I will conclude by saying that, when one looks at the cases around the world, we see some variation, and I repeat the government's view that what we have before us is a bill that keeps faith with the convention and enacts the requirements of that convention as its primary purpose.


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