Amnesty International welcomes the passage today of historic legislation that confirms Australia’s opposition to torture and the death penalty.
The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Bill 2009 passed through the Senate today without amendments. This final step in the legislative process means that no state in Australia can reinstate the death penalty for any crime.
As well, Australia has now explicitly prohibited the use of torture, formally affirming Australia’s position that torture is never acceptable under any circumstances or at any time.
Explicitly defining and prohibiting torture in Australian legislation brings the country further into line with its international obligations under the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
"The death penalty and torture are unacceptable practices. Now they cannot be engaged in by Australian authorities for any reason," said Katie Wood, a spokesperson for Amnesty International. "The use of torture or the death penalty is an affront to human dignity and it is a fundamental breach of human rights."
(Info taken from Amnesty International media release. Follow the link for the full release: http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/22686/)