Treaties on Extradition and Mutual Assistance between Australia and Jordan
The Law Council is grateful for the opportunity to provide this submission in response to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties’ inquiry into:
- the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on Extradition (the proposed Extradition Treaty); and
- the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (the proposed Mutual Assistance Treaty) (collectively, the proposed Treaties).
It is vital that Australia has an effective extradition regime to ensure criminals are not able to evade justice simply by crossing borders. In cooperating with foreign countries, however, Australia must adhere to fundamental rule of law principles and its international obligations.
Therefore, the terms of the proposed treaties must be examined against the current social, political and legal climate in Jordan to ensure that Australia does not facilitate the conviction or treatment of a person in a manner inconsistent with its own democratic values and international obligations. Noting that a central motivation of the proposed Treaties is to increase international cooperation in the fight against terrorism,1 the Law Council is particularly concerned by the:
- prosecution, conviction and detention of persons pursuant to the Jordan AntiTerrorism Law No 55 of 2006 (Anti-Terrorism Law),2 which is cast in broad terms and has been used to prosecute persons critical of the Jordanian Government and its allies;
- widespread and systematic use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment against persons suspected of ‘terrorism’, the narrow definition of torture under Jordanian law and its characterisation as a misdemeanour, as well as the impunity of law enforcement for its commission;
- abrogation of fair trial rights of persons accused of ‘terrorism’ and other offences that fall within the jurisdiction of the State Security Court; and
- reactivation of the death penalty in 2015, following an eight-year moratorium, to execute persons convicted of terrorism offences.
You can read the full submission below.
1 See Agreement Between the Government of Australia and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on Extradition, signed 24 April 2017  ATNIA 24 (not yet in force), preamble; see also Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, ‘Australia considers extradition Treaty with Jordan’ (Media Release, 16 October 2017).