Monday, June 24, 2019

Australia's criminal government

Australian Ministers are guilty of crimes against humanity over their treatment of refugees, says a top Australian lawyer:

The top politicians in this country are guilty of major criminal offences, but they are unlikely ever to be tried for them, says lawyer Julian Burnside.

“I think it’s pretty clear that Australian prime ministers and immigration ministers are guilty of criminal offences against our own law,” says the Melbourne-based QC. “The problem is that no one can bring a prosecution for those offences without the approval of the Attorney General. Take a lucky guess what the Attorney General would say.”

The offences he has in mind involve the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers – deliberate and unnecessary cruelty that amounts, he argues in the documentary Border Politics, to torture.

And Australia has laws against that, both under the Convention Against Torture and as a party to the International Criminal Court. But they all have a political safeguard, which means that in practice no member of the government or official will ever face justice for their crimes.

The question then is, at what stage does that political safeguard become a deliberate obstruction of justice, enabling the ICC to assert jurisdiction over both criminals and obstructers? Because that's where this is heading unless Australia sorts its shit out. And as a decent country, the new Zealand government should be making the complaint. Friends don't let friends torture refugees and commit crimes against humanity.