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Australia: Bill to Prohibit Torture and Abolish the Death Penalty Introduced

(Nov. 23, 2009) On November 19, 2009, Australia’s Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, introduced the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Bill 2009 in the Parliament. The bill will create a specific federal offense of torture and ensure that the death penalty cannot be reintroduced in any of Australia’s states and territories in the […]

Australia; Cook Islands: Tax Information Exchange Agreement Signed

(Nov. 17, 2009) On October 27, 2009, Australia and the Cook Islands signed a comprehensive tax information exchange agreement in Rarotonga. The agreement provides for the exchange of information on request in both criminal and civil tax matters. The two countries also signed an Additional Benefits Agreement that will result in greater technical assistance being […]

New Zealand: Police Given Greater Powers to Obtain DNA Samples

(Nov. 6, 2009) On October 28, 2009, the New Zealand Parliament passed legislation that will allow police to collect DNA from people arrested for certain offenses, without the need to obtain consent or apply for judicial approval. (Press Release, Hon. Simon Power, Parliament Passes DNA Law (Oct. 28, 2009), available at http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/parliament+passes+dna+law.) The Criminal Investigations […]

Malaysia; New Zealand: Free Trade Deal Signed

(Nov. 6, 2009) The Trade Ministers of New Zealand and Malaysia signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Kuala Lumpur on October 26, 2009, following ten rounds of negotiations held over a four-year period. The FTA builds on commitments made by the two countries under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) that was signed […]

Australia: Federal Government to Reform Privacy Laws

(Oct. 22, 2009) On October 14, 2009, the Australian Federal Government released the first part of its response to a major review of Australia's privacy laws that was undertaken by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). (Enhancing National Privacy Protection, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website, Oct. 2009, available at http://www.pmc.gov.au/privacy/alrc_docs/stage1_aus_govt_response.pdf.) The ALRC's […]

New Zealand: Referendum to Be Held on Electoral System

(Oct. 22, 2009) On October 20, 2009, the New Zealand Government announced that there will be a referendum in 2011 asking voters whether they want to retain the current Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system or change to a different system. (Press Release, Hon. Simon Power, MMP Referendum to Be Held at 2011 Election (Oct. […]