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According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, at least two Australians per day are arrested in an overseas country in relation to alleged offences. Many of those arrested are subsequently detained and their detention poses challenges related to consular assistance and for effective legal representation. This subject considers the international legal obligations of detaining States to allow consular access to foreign detainees and the role Australian authorities regularly play. It will also expose some of the challenges of coordinating legal representation both in Australia and in the detaining country. This subject is unique in Australia and the lecturers will draw on their extensive practical experience and their academic scholarship to present relevant, topical and cutting-edge material.
Principal topics include:
- Alternative bases for the exercise of national criminal jurisdiction
- Privileges and immunities
- Consular assistance and the law of consular relations
- Australia’s national approach to the provision of consular assistance
- The appointment of legal counsel in the detaining State and in Australia
- Case studies of selected Australians detained abroad.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Be conversant with the obligations of detaining states pursuant to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 and customary international law
- Be familiar with the International Court of Justice’s jurisprudence on the international law of consular relations
- Understand the Australian Government’s approach to the provision of consular assistance and the policy factors that influence different levels of assistance
- Appreciate some of the challenges involved in co-ordinating legal representation both in Australia and in the detaining country.
Last updated: 3 November 2022