Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Statutory Rules 2002 No. 296

Issued by the authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs

International Transfer of Prisoners Act 1997

International Transfer of Prisoners (Transfer of Sentenced Persons Convention) Regulations 2002

Section 58 of the International Transfer of Prisoner s Act 1997 (the Act) provides that the Governor-General may make regulations for the purposes of the Act. These regulations may be made as required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed, or as necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act.

The Act forms the basis of the International Transfer of Prisoners scheme (the scheme) in Australia. The scheme will allow Australians imprisoned overseas to apply to return to Australia to serve the remainder of their sentence in an Australian prison. The arrangements will also allow foreign nationals who are imprisoned in Australia to apply to serve the balance of their sentence in their home country.

Section 8 of the Act provides that the regulations may apply the Act to a foreign country and may declare the country to be a transfer country for the purposes of the Act. The regulations may declare that the Act applies to such a foreign country subject to limitations, conditions, exceptions or qualifications referred to in the regulations. Particularly, this may be to give effect to a multilateral treaty, a copy of which is set out in the regulations.

The International Transfer of Prisoner (Transfer of Sentenced Persons Convention) Regulations (the Regulations) declare that member States to the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (the Convention) are transfer countries, and apply the Act to those member States, subject to the Convention. A copy of the Convention is set out in Schedule 1 to the Regulations.

The Convention will enter into force for Australia on 1 January.

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