Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to prevent the disclosure of information by public officials in circumstances that may lead to the imposition of the death penalty in foreign countries, and for related purposes
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 01 Jun 2015
Introduced HR 01 Jun 2015

2013‑2014‑2015

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Foreign Death Penalty Offences (Preventing Information Disclosure) Bill 2015

 

No.      , 2015

 

(Mr Palmer)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to prevent the disclosure of information by public officials in circumstances that may lead to the imposition of the death penalty in foreign countries, and for related purposes

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                             1

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 2

3............ Act binds the Crown........................................................................... 2

4............ Extension to external Territories.......................................................... 2

5............ Extraterritorial application................................................................... 2

6............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 2

Part 2—Foreign death penalty offences: preventing information disclosure by public officials              3

7............ Foreign death penalty offences—preventing information disclosure by public officials           3

8............ Extended geographical jurisdiction...................................................... 4

9............ Mandatory minimum sentences........................................................... 4

10.......... Relationship with other laws............................................................... 5

 


A Bill for an Act to prevent the disclosure of information by public officials in circumstances that may lead to the imposition of the death penalty in foreign countries, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Foreign Death Penalty Offences (Preventing Information Disclosure) Act 2015.

2  Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

3  Act binds the Crown

             (1)  This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities.

             (2)  This Act does not make the Crown liable to be prosecuted for an offence.

4  Extension to external Territories

                   This Act extends to every external Territory.

5  Extraterritorial application

                   This Act extends to acts, omissions, matters and things outside Australia.

6  Definitions

                   In this Act:

foreign death penalty offence means an offence against the law of a foreign country, or part of a foreign country, in respect of which the death penalty may be imposed.

public official means:

                     (a)  a Commonwealth public official (within the meaning of the Criminal Code); and

                     (b)  any other public official (within the meaning of the Criminal Code).

Part 2Foreign death penalty offences: preventing information disclosure by public officials

  

7  Foreign death penalty offences—preventing information disclosure by public officials

Offence

             (1)  A person (the defendant) commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the defendant is or was a public official; and

                     (b)  the defendant directly or indirectly discloses information to another person; and

                     (c)  the information was obtained by the defendant, or came to the defendant’s knowledge:

                              (i)  in the course of the performance of his or her duties as a public official; or

                             (ii)  by reason of being a public official;

                            whether before or after the commencement of this section; and

                     (d)  the defendant is reckless as to whether the disclosure will do any of the following:

                              (i)  result in a person being tried in a foreign country for a foreign death penalty offence;

                             (ii)  assist in the investigation or prosecution of a person who is being tried in a foreign country for such an offence;

                            (iii)  assist in the punishment of a person who has been convicted in a foreign country of such an offence.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 15 years.

Exception—Attorney‑General certificates

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply if the Attorney‑General certifies, in writing, that the disclosure is necessary to prevent, or assist in the investigation or prosecution of a person suspected of having engaged in:

                     (a)  a terrorist act (as defined in subsection 100.1(1) of the Criminal Code); or

                     (b)  an act of violence:

                              (i)  causing a person’s death; or

                             (ii)  endangering a person’s life.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to a matter in subsection (2) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

             (3)  In subsection (2), a reference to a terrorist act or an act of violence includes:

                     (a)  a reference to a terrorist act or act of violence (as the case requires) that does not occur; and

                     (b)  a reference to a specific terrorist act or act of violence (as the case requires); and

                     (c)  a reference to more than one terrorist act or act of violence (as the case requires).

             (4)  The Attorney‑General must cause a copy of a certificate made under subsection (2) to be published on the Department’s website.

             (5)  A certificate made under subsection (2) is not a legislative instrument.

8  Extended geographical jurisdiction

                   Section 15.4 (extended geographical jurisdiction—category D) of the Criminal Code applies to an offence against section 7.

9  Mandatory minimum sentences

             (1)  A court must not make an order under section 19B of the Crimes Act 1914 (discharge of offenders without conviction) in respect of a charge for an offence against section 7.

             (2)  If a person is convicted of an offence against section 7, the court must impose a sentence of imprisonment of at least 1 year.

10  Relationship with other laws

             (1)  This Part has effect despite any other law of the Commonwealth, or of a State or Territory (whether written or unwritten).

             (2)  However, subsection (1) does not apply to a provision of an Act if the provision:

                     (a)  commences after this section commences; and

                     (b)  specifically states that it applies despite this Part.