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The Death Penalty in Australian Law

(2012) Sydney Law Review, Vol 34, pp.659-94

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2013-12

36 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2013  

Jo Lennan

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

George Williams

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 31, 2013

Abstract

This article undertakes a comprehensive review of Australian legislation on the death penalty. It charts the legal progress towards abolition, detailing the successive moves by colonial, state, territory and Commonwealth legislatures to restrict and then completely abolish capital punishment. Most recently, the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Act 2010 (Cth) blocks any state or territory attempt to reinstate the death penalty. The article examines whether any action now remains to be taken in Australia in this area. It considers the extent to which laws and practices on extradition and policing might involve Australian authorities in processes leading to the imposition of the death penalty abroad. It is suggested that while the 2010 Act represents the last necessary step (save for constitutional entrenchment) to abolish the death penalty in Australia, action can still be taken as a matter of principled opposition to the death penalty to ensure that Australian officials are not involved in the imposition of capital punishment elsewhere.

Suggested Citation

Lennan, Jo and Williams, George, The Death Penalty in Australian Law (January 31, 2013). (2012) Sydney Law Review, Vol 34, pp.659-94; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2013-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2212658

Jo Lennan

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

George Williams (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

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