Government pushes ahead with China extradition treaty | Law

Government pushes ahead with China extradition treaty

Professor Andrew Byrnes of International Law at UNSW, spoke with SBS News (7 March 2017) about the China extradition treaty.

The federal government has begun the process of ratifying a long-stalled and controversial extradition treaty with China.

The treaty has been on hold since 2007, when it was signed under former Prime Minister John Howard but never ratified.

The government introduced regulations on Thursday to enable the treaty's ratification in to the lower house. The regulations will have to pass both houses of parliament before the treaty can come into force.

If ratified, Australia will become the third Western country to enter into an extradition agreement with China, joining Spain and France. 

“The Chinese legal system in many respects falls a long way short of the accepted international fair trial standards,” Professor Byrnes said. “Normally when we deal with those sorts of situations we don't enter in to extradition treaties with countries where we have real concerns."

The treaty had clauses allowing for extradition to be denied on the basis of the death penalty or concerns of political persecution. 

However, Professor Byrnes said the Australian government wasn’t able to deny extradition based on concerns for a fair trial, a clause that is in 10 of Australia’s other extradition treaties.

He also said the Australian authorities may find it difficult to deny Chinese extradition requests due to diplomatic pressure from Beijing.

 

Read the full article here.

Also read 'Proposed extradition treaty with China still leaves some unnerved' here.