busted: afp’s “anything goes” policy on death penalty

Tuesday, 23 August 2005 NSWCCL media release: 4/2005


Under freedom of information legislation, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties has obtained internal AFP guidelines on cooperation with foreign police in cases that might involve the death penalty. 

The guidelines explicitly state that assistance can be provided to foreign police "irrespective of whether the investigation may later result in charges being laid which may attract the death penalty". 

“This amounts to an ‘anything goes’ policy”, Mr Cameron Murphy, President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said today. 

“Australia has a clear policy opposing the death penalty and the AFP have to be pulled into line. Procedures need to be put into place to ensure that Australian intelligence and Australian resources will not be used to put people in front of firing squads,” Mr Murphy said. 

“The AFP should be saying to foreign police that they will only help in investigations against Australians when an undertaking is made that the death penalty will not be sought”, Mr Murphy said. 

“CCL calls on the federal government to tear up this ‘anything goes’ policy. The AFP needs to be more tightly controlled and supervised - otherwise we'll have more Bali Nines in the future," Mr Murphy said. 

"CCL supports the Law Council of Australia’s call for reform of internal AFP guidelines. CCL also supports a Senate Committee’s recent call for tighter supervision of the AFP when it comes to investigations that could result in a death sentence”, Mr Murphy said.

For more information contact: 
Cameron Murphy, NSWCCL President, 0411 769 769