International Criminal Court Told Australia’s Detention Regime Could Be A Crime Against Humanity


Publish Date:
February 13, 2017
  • Doherty, Ben
The Guardian
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Australia’s offshore immigration detention regime could constitute a crime against humanity, a petition before the International Criminal Court from a coalition of legal experts has alleged.

On Monday morning, GMT, a 108-page legal submission from the Global Legal Action Network (Glan) and the Stanford International Human Rights Clinic was submitted to the court, detailing what the network describes as the “harrowing practices of the Australian state and corporations towards asylum seekers”. The petition submits the office of the prosecutor of the ICC should open an investigation into possible “crimes against humanity committed by individuals and corporate actors”.

Diala Shamas, a law lecturer at Stanford’s international human rights and conflict resolution clinic, said the submission to the ICC demonstrated that Australia’s government officials, as well as some of their corporate contractors, might be liable for crimes against humanity.

“At a time when global powers including the United States are shutting their doors to refugees, it is crucial for international legal institutions to protect them,” Shamas said.

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