Abbott Government back in International Criminal Court hot seat over #refugees: @jansant reports

Wayne Jansson

Wayne Jansson

Chief reporter & photographer at No Fibs
Wayne Jansson is an Australian citizen journalist and photographer. He covered the seat of Indi during the 2013 federal election which saw Independent Cathy McGowan unseat Liberal Sophie Mirabella. His interests are politics and social justice.
Wayne Jansson
- 9 mins ago
Wayne Jansson
Young asylum seeker Reza Barati, who was murdered at the Manus Island offshore detention centre.

Young asylum seeker Reza Barati was murdered at the Australian Manus Island offshore detention centre early last year.

The International Criminal Court (@IntlCrimCourt) in The Hague (ICC) is analysing additional information it has recieved, adding to information previously received, to determine if members of the Australian Government have a case to answer for alleged crimes against humanity.

Confirmation was received by lawyer and migration agent Tracie Aylmer (@taylmer), in a letter (below) yesterday, January 30, 2015.

The ICC said:

The Office is analyzing the situation identified in your communication, with the assistance of other related communications and other available information.

Aylmer’s original ICC submission was officially accepted for consideration by the ICC on May 19, 2014.

It named senior members of the Australian Government:

  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
  • Minister for Immigration and Border protection Scott Morrison
  • Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaela Cash
  • Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop
  • Former Chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley
  • Commander of Operation Sovereign Borders Lieutenant General Angus Campbell

The ICC informed Aylmer on September 18, 2014, her original submission appeared to fall outside the Courts jurisdiction, saying:

the allegations appear to fall outside the jurisdiction of the Court……..many serious allegations will be beyond the reach of this institution to address. I note in this regard that the ICC is designed to complement, not replace national jurisdictions. Thus, if you wish to pursue this matter further, you may consider raising it with appropriate national or international authorities

The letter also stated:

The information you have submitted will be maintained in our archives, and the decision not to proceed may be reconsidered if new facts or evidence provides a basis to believe that a crime within the jurisdiction of the court has been committed.

Aylmer subsequently provided the ICC with additional information.

In September, 2014, the independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie MP (@WilkieMP) and human rights advocate and lawyer Greg Barns (@BarnsGreg), made a formal request to the ICC, asking for an investigation into members of the Abbott Government for crimes against humanity.

No evidence was provided at the time, however, No Fibs believes Wilkie and his office were willing to provide material if a request to do so was made by the ICC Prosecutor.

No Fibs has heard unconfirmed reports other submissions have been made to the ICC by other parties.

The Courts latest correspondence to Aylmer seems to confirm they have received information from multiple sources.

Yesterday’s letter also states:

the prosecutor must consider……….the gravity of the crimes, whether national systems are investigating and prosecuting the relevant crimes, and the interests of justice.

Julian Burnside AO QC (@JulianBurnside) wrote an opinion piece in December, 2013, asserting Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration and Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison’s actions “appear to constitute a crime against humanity contrary to section 268.12 of the Criminal Code (Commonwealth)”.

Only Attorney-General Senator George Brandis can bring a prosecution under section 268.12, highly unlikely against members of his own government.

When the ICC previously determined they did not have jurisdiction for the crimes alleged in Aylmer’s original submission, No Fibs asked the Court via email:

  • Was there consideration given in your decision that refugees who may be victims of crimes against humanity, perpetrated by the Australian Federal Government, are effectively left without remedy in domestic law?
  • What other international authorities can provide remedy and justice to the victims of crimes alleged in the submission?

The ICC declined to comment.

In December, 2014, the United Nations Committee Against Torture released a report (below) critical of the Australian Government. in relation to compliance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, regarding refugees, in the following areas:

  • Non-refoulement
  • Mandatory immigration detention, including of children
  • Offshore processing of asylum claims
  • Identification of victims of torture among asylum seekers

Do you know more? Contact No Fibs

View full coverage of developments in this story.

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Comments

  1. The wheels of Justice turn slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine. Abbott, Morrison, your crimes will not be forgotten.

    • I agree and hopefully this cartel of criminals will be subject to prosecution. Reza Barati and other victims of this cruel regime deserve justice.

      Cold comfort for their parents, but at least they will know not all Australians are bigoted monsters.

      Labor should also not take too much comfort from all this. They allowed themselves to be railroaded into draconian legislation which victimised people already vitimised and traumatised, many no doubt suffering PTSD, still untreated and allowed to fester.

  2. Brilliant news! I just hope it happens, and Australia can return, once and for all, to humane and honest dealings with asylum seekers and refugees.

  3. Peter Farago says:

    I would like to see these complaints to be backed up by Civil Society action by way of further complaints to the ICC and the UN Committee Against Torture. By this I mean all professional bodies that have spoken up against the treatment of asylum seekers, such as Doctors for Refugees, the AMA etc, etc.could do this. In addition any other body, such as the Refugee Action Collective Asylum seeker Resource Centre, the Churches and so on could throw their weight behind such an action.
    If you are interested in cooperating with me on such a project, I’d like you to contact me. My phone No 0409 866 414