Australia

Australia is opposed to the death penalty. The Federal Government abolished the death penalty in 1973 with the Death Penalty Abolition Act 1973 (Cth). All Australian States and Territories had abolished the death penalty by 1985.

Jurisdiction

Last execution

Abolition

Queensland

1913

1922

New South Wales

1940

1985(*)

Tasmania

1946

1968

Commonwealth

Nil

1973

ACT

Nil

1973

Northern Territory

1952

1973

Victoria

1967

1975

South Australia

1964

1976

Western Australia

1964

1984

(*) Though the death penalty for murder was abolished in NSW in 1955, NSW was the last state to completely abolish the death penalty when in 1985 capital punishment was abolished for treason and piracy: Crimes Amendment (Death Penalty Abolition) Act 1985 (NSW).

The last person executed in Australia was Ronald Ryan in 1967. The last person sentenced to death in Australia was Brenda Hodge. The sentence was delivered in Western Australia in 1984, although it was immediately commuted to life in prison.

Australia has signed the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which commits Australia to the abolition of the death penalty in 1990.

Australia annually co-sponsors a resolution of the UN Human lefts Commission that calls for all nations to abolish the death penalty. A particular version of this resolution passed in 2005 is The Question of the Death Penalty (UN Doc E/CN.4/RES/2005/59).

Australia voted for the UN General Assembly's resolution calling for a global moratorium on the death penalty  on 18 December 2007.

In 2010, the Australian government passed the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Act 2010. This Act prevents the reintroduction of any death penalty within Australian states or territories. This change to the law means that any state wishing to reintroduce the death penalty is required to seek a change of law at a federal level as well.