(Cairns... Far North Queensland)
THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
LIGHT’ TO OVER-RULE AUSTRALIA’S HIGH COURT
Constitution established Australia’s High Court as the highest in the land.
But appeal was allowed in particular cases to the Privy Council… a Crown
appointed body of experienced men and women drawn from Commonwealth countries
including Australia. The Privy Council could not consider any matter unless
the Whitlam administration the right to appeal to the Privy Council was
abolished. The argument was that jurisdiction in Australia should be exclusively
Australian, going no further than Australia’s borders. As a sovereign country
we legislated and applied our own laws in accordance with the 'will of the
then, to have the Howard Government, under pressure from the then Department of
Foreign Affairs and the Attorney-General’s Department, headed by Alexander
Downer and Darryl Williams respectively, ratifying an International Criminal
Court, with powers to over-rule Australia’s own High Court!
RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED NATIONS
June 2001 the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
tabled its report on “Australia’s Role in United Nations Reform”. The
Committee consisted of 17 Senators and 22 Members of the Lower House. Their
hearings started on November 15, 1999. A special sub-committee was established
to deal specifically with the issue.
a number of contentious issues was the International Criminal Court. After its
deliberations the Joint Standing Committee recommended that Australia ratify the
Treaty. The Recommendation read: “The
committee commends the Australian Government for its contribution to the
development of the International Criminal Court and recommends that the
Government ratify the Statute of Rome as soon as possible.”
four parliamentarians included a dissenting report. They were Andrew Southcott,
Geoff Prosser, De Anne Kelly, and Andrew Thomson. Their report highlighted the
fact that the dissenters were motivated by a concern for Australia’s own
sovereignty… increasingly discounted by the majority of federal politicians.
Their report cited a letter of dissent signed by 12 prominent American administrators, which read:
letter was signed by Lawrence Eagleburger, Brent Scowcroft, Casper Weinberger,
Zbigniew Brzezinski, R. James Woolsey, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Henry Kissinger,
Donald Rumsfeld, Richard V. Allen, George Schultz, James Baker, and Robert
four dissenters expressed concerns that:
argument is emphasised by Section 75 of the Constitution,
Court Justice Deane, in Polyukhovich v The Commonwealth of Australia (172 CLR
501 F.C.) made the point that:
the Court has not had occasion in the past to examine the extent to which Ch.
III of the Constitution is applicable in relation to the trial and punishment of
persons accused of crimes against international law….”
That being so, the whole process of treaty making by cabinet and bureaucrats should be subject to some process whereby the provisions of the Constitution are not compromised. The International Criminal Court however lofty its rhetoric, is almost certainly a body whose powers, could further diminish the Australian Constitution.
The harsh reality of the implications of the International Criminal Court will become evident when an Australian soldier, in the course of his duties, and 'under orders', commits an offence subject to scrutiny by the ICC, is extradited from Australia, charged, and sentenced... possibly to death.
Is the United States of America a signatory to the ICC... NO!
I am totally opposed to Federal Legislation sanctioning the International Criminal Court, and will vehemently seek the repealing of this outrageous International Treaty.
Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870