Tuesday, September 20, 2005

More on Scott Parkin

Left and Lefter has a good piece on Scott Parkin, the American peace activist recently detained and deported from Australia. Asher attended one of Parkin's workshops on protest tactics, and notes that the methods taught there were both legal and effective. He speculates that curbing the spread of such tactics may have been the Howard government's motive for deporting him. I'm not sure that I'd give them that much credit. Unfortunately, because the Australian government is under no obligation to reveal their reasons, even to Parkin himself, we'll simply never know.


The Aussies want $20k out of him for their expenses - if they're serious about this they'll presumably have to justify themselves to a US court. I susepct they probably won't.

Posted by Rich : 9/20/2005 11:07:00 AM

Rich - As I detailed in my piece on Left & Lefter, the Australian government is billing Scott for AU$11,700 (not $20k). It is detailed as expenses for the cost of his detention (AU$124 per day), his flight to the USA and the return flights and 1 nights accomodation for the two police minders that accompanied him.

The Australian government has no need to justify themselves in a US courtroom, they are serious and they have already billed him (ie - it isn't simply something they are considering).

In addition, the Australian government is considering adding Scott to an international blacklist which would make it extremely hard for him to travel internationally in the future.

Scott is going to fight his case in Australian court, but I am not sure if he will ever even find out the reasoning let alone be able to overturn the decision. There has been discussion amongst Australian activists of possibly holding a benefit gig and a fundraising drive to help Scott pay his fine.

Posted by Asher : 9/20/2005 01:05:00 PM

My understanding (and I'm not a lawyer) is that if you are in a foreign country you aren't liable to pay any debts including fines to another country *without* a local court confirming the debt.

They can bill him all they like but at the end of the day they can't seize his stuff or whatever without the say-so of a US court.

And when they try for that he could possibly try and demand justification.

Posted by Rich : 9/20/2005 04:23:00 PM

Ah, now I see what you're getting at.

Yes, that might possibly be true...however, it's also quite possible that mutual assistance treaties between Australia and the USA on intelligence could mean that the US wouldn't neccessarily need to hear the evidence, but would take ASIO at it's word.

It's something for further research from a legally trained person, me-thinks.

Posted by Asher : 9/20/2005 06:49:00 PM