Senate debates

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Committees

Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee; Reference

12:05 pm

Photo of Penny WrightPenny Wright (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 27 March 2013:

The role played by the former Australian Government in Mr David Hicks' trial, treatment and detention, with particular reference to:

  (a)   his transfer from the custody of Afghanistan's Northern Alliance to the United States (US) military and subsequent transfer into detention at the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba;

  (b)   his detention, interrogation and treatment in US custody;

  (c)   his 2004 charges and initial prosecution by the first US Military Commission;

  (d)   his subsequent 2007 charges and plea agreement under the Military Commission Act 2006 (US);

  (e)   his subsequent transfer to and incarceration in Australia;

  (f)   the control order placed upon him at the time of release from prison in Australia;

  (g)   whether Australia acted consistently with its obligations under international law in its dealings with the US in respect of the above matters; and

  (h)   any other related matters.

Question negatived.

Mr President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

12:06 pm

Photo of John HoggJohn Hogg (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for one minute.

Photo of Penny WrightPenny Wright (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

The treatment, incarceration and trials of David Hicks are a shameful period in Australia's history. David Hicks has consistently made statements about his treatment, including abuse and drugging against his will. On the weekend, more revelations became evident and the statements have been backed up by evidence from a prominent attorney, independent investigations and previously secret reports. This evidence will continue to come out.

David Hicks has never had the opportunity to have the allegations against him heard in a properly constituted court. There have been inquiries in the US but no inquiries in Australia. The Greens have consistently called for a full independent inquiry into the treatment and incarceration of David Hicks and the role of the Australian government as it stood by and allowed it to happen. That has not occurred, and it is for that reason that I am seeking to refer this matter to a Senate inquiry.

Photo of John HoggJohn Hogg (President) Share this | | Hansard source

We will deal next with No. 954, standing in the name of—

Photo of Penny WrightPenny Wright (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr President, I was seeking a division on that.

Photo of John HoggJohn Hogg (President) Share this | | Hansard source

I did not hear the voices call for a division.

Photo of Jacinta CollinsJacinta Collins (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) Share this | | Hansard source

It's too late. She's already made a statement.

Photo of Penny WrightPenny Wright (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I understood that I could seek leave to make a short statement before a division could be called, Mr President.

Photo of John HoggJohn Hogg (President) Share this | | Hansard source

I declared the result of it. If you are seeking a recommittal of the matter, that is a different issue, but I had actually called the result before I called you.

Photo of Penny WrightPenny Wright (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr President, I accept that. I would then ask that Hansard record the fact that the Greens voted in favour of the motion and that the rest of the Senate voted against it.

Opposition senators: You can't say that. You don't know that!