The Bali Nine could happen again tomorrow: the rules still allow Australian police to provide information in death penalty cases

Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

By Adam McBeth

It has been welldocumented that the intervention of the Australian Federal Police played a central role in the arrest of the Bali Nine in Indonesia in 2005, ultimately leading to the execution by firing squad of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran on 29 April 2015. Without the information provided by the AFP – apparently on its own initiative, without a request from Indonesia – the Bali Nine would not have been arrested in Indonesia for their role in attempting to smuggle 8kg of heroin into Australia.

In the days since the executions, much has been made of the changes to the AFP’s guidelines on international co-operation made in 2009, ostensibly to prevent such a travesty occurring again, and the changes made to the Ministerial Direction to the AFP in May 2014, which removed any reference to the death penalty as a reason for withholding cooperation with…

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