Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Australian Version Of 'Delit De Solidarite'?

It looks highly likely that Australia will soon introduce their own version of the French Article 622, commonly known as Delit de Solidarite or 'Offence of Solidarity'. A secret deal appears to have been concluded between the Rudd government and the Liberal opposition to bring in a criminal offence of supporting people smuggling. Thus even anyone offering humanitarian assistance to say a boat of migrants that got in trouble, such as the captain of the MV Tampa did for 438 Afghans trying to reach Australia in 2001 but whose boat was sinking, would be liable to 10 years in prison. Needless to say news of the putative law leaking has provoked outrage amongst refugee support groups and legal advice groups. The new law will back up a new high-profile IT system called WebMethods which aims to collate all potential sources of information from Customs, other government and external IT systems to identify people-smugglers and other 'border threats'.

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