Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Statutory Rules 1993 No. 187

Issued by the Authority of the Attorney-General

Extradition Act 1988

Extradition (Republic of the Marshall Islands) Regulations

Section 55 of the Extradition Act 1988 (the Act) provides that the Governor-General may make regulations prescribing all matters required or permitted by the Act to be prescribed or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act. Subsection 11 (1) of the Act provides that regulations may apply the Act to a specified extradition country subject to such limitations, conditions, exceptions, or qualifications set out in the regulations. This allows for regulations to be made applying the Act to a specified extradition country by way of an extradition treaty or otherwise.

Prior to the making of the Regulations the Act had not been applied to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (The Marshall Islands). The Regulations now create a non-treaty extradition relationship between Australia and the Marshall Islands based on reciprocity. The Attorney-General's discretion to refuse surrender of a person to the Marshall Islands is preserved in such a relationship. Similar 'reciprocity based' Regulations have been made applying the Act to Brazil, Denmark, Fiji, Japan, Iceland and South Africa.

The Regulations apply the Act to the Republic of the Marshall Islands as modified by Regulations 4 and 5.

The Regulations commence on gazettal.

Details of the Regulations are as follows:

Regulation 1 is a citation provision.

Regulation 2 is an interpretation provision.

Regulation 3 declares the Marshall Islands to be an extradition country.

Regulation 4 declares that, so far as the Marshall Islands are concerned, conduct constituted by taking or endangering life in circumstances of collective danger (eg violence involving a mob or a crowd) is not a political offence. The Act requires that extradition to a country be refused where a person is sought for offences that are of a political character. However, where the political situation of a country is assessed as stable enough, the Act allows Regulations to declare that the taking or endangering of life in circumstances of mob or crowd violence should not be considered a political offence. The advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is that the political situation in the Marshall Islands is stable enough for the political offence exception to be limited by excluding such conduct.

Regulation 5 provides that the Attorney-General shall not surrender a person to the Marshall Islands if the person were to liable to be tried before a tribunal specially established to try that person.

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