Since the 2001 detention of David Hicks in Afghanistan, increasing attention has been given to the plight of Australian citizens detained overseas and the legal and policy issues that confront the Australian Government in responding to their plight. Successive Australian Foreign Ministers during this period have acknowledged the increasing workload associated with these consular cases, many of which attract significant public attention such as Schapelle Corby, the ‘Bali Nine’, Stern Hu and Julian Assange. There are important legal distinctions between Australia’s capacity to offer consular support and diplomatic protection in these cases. Often a range of international legal options are available to Australia, but only following the exhaustion of political and diplomatic processes and so-called ‘local remedies’. In this lecture it will be argued that Australian Governments need to develop a more consistent diplomatic and legal strategy in dealing with the cases of Australians detained overseas, and resist the accompanying surge of media interest that often demands that the Government ‘do something’. Australian Government support mechanisms that are available for the legal teams representing Australians being detained overseas will also be discussed.
Don Rothwell is Professor of International Law and Assistant Head of School at the ANU College of Law, where he has taught since 2006. In 2012 Professor Rothwell was also appointed as an inaugural ANU Public Policy Fellow. He was previously Challis Professor of International Law and Director of the Sydney Centre for International and Global Law, University of Sydney (2004 to 2006), where he had taught since 1988. Professor Rothwell has authored, co-authored or edited 16 books, including most recently Antarctic Security in the Twenty-First Century: Legal and Policy Perspectives (2012); Australian Coastal and Marine Law (2011) and the acclaimed The International Law of the Sea (2010).
The lecture will be followed by light refreshments.
When: Wednesday 14 November 2012, 6-7pm
Where: Coombs Lecture Theatre, HC Coombs Building, Fellows Road, ANU
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