Saturday, 20 February 2010

Australian laws to ban death penalty

20 February 2010


Successive Australian Governments have maintained a long-standing policy of opposition to the death penalty.

The death penalty has been formally abolished by all jurisdictions in Australia.

It was abolished for Commonwealth and Territory offences in 1973 by the Commonwealth Death Penalty Abolition Act.

Each State has also independently and separately abolished the death penalty and there are no proposals by any State Government to reinstate it.

The Australian Government has also introduced legislation – which has been supported by the Opposition – to amend the Death Penalty Abolition Act to extend the application of the current Commonwealth prohibition on the death penalty to State laws.

The passage of this comprehensive federal legislation, which is currently being debated in the Parliament, will ensure that the death penalty cannot be reintroduced anywhere in Australia in the future.

Internationally, Australia is also a party to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Second Optional Protocol which requires all necessary measures be taken to ensure that no one is subject to the death penalty.

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