Crimes Legislation Amendment (International Crime Cooperation and Other Measures) Bill 2016
Thank for the opportunity to provide this submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s (the Committee) Inquiry into the Crimes Legislation Amendment (International Crime Cooperation and Other Measures) Bill 2016 (the Bill).
The Bill would amend a range of Commonwealth criminal justice legislation, including in relation to enhancing Australia’s international crime cooperation arrangements, strengthening the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime and the Commonwealth’s anti-human trafficking and slavery regime.
The Law Council’s submission focuses on the following issues:
- Schedule 1 death penalty implications;
- Schedule 2 proceeds of crime;
- Schedule 4 amendments to the Foreign Evidence Act 1994 (FE Act);
- Schedule 5 protection of child complainants through amendments to the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) (Crimes Act);
- Schedule 5 Schedule 5 amendments to the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Law Enforcement Integrity, Vulnerable Witness Protection and Other Measures) Act 2013 (Cth) (Vulnerable Witness Act);
- Schedule 6 definition of ‘debt bondage’;
- Schedule 6 relocation of debt bondage as a slavery-like offence; and
- Schedule 6 amendments regarding slavery like offences and relevant evidence.
The Law Council supports the amendments in Schedules 5 and 6 of the Bill as a means to strengthening Australia’s criminal justice legislative response to human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like offences. Amendments in relation to foreign evidence do not appear problematic.
However, the Law Council is concerned that applications can still be made for information from the full range of coercive processes referred to by this amending Bill for offences which carry the death penalty. This may be of concern if the reforms recommended by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s (JSCFADT) A World Without the Death Penalty Report have not been addressed. The Law Council recommends prompt implementation of these recommendations.
The Law Council does not oppose in principle measures in Schedule 2 which seek to ensure consistency between the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987 (MA Act) and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) (POCA). However, measures in the latter are in need of reform to align with the rule of law.
You can read the full submission below.