Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Status Of US Forces Within Australia

The US/ Australia Status of Forces Agreement of 1963, in particular Article 8 of the treaty, has a couple of points in it that make you wonder how far US Forces could go with Hicks. For example, although Ruddock says that Hicks would not be given up to the US for violating his agreement to remain silent, citing this treaty would be a simple way of the US to haul him in again.

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[excerpts of Article 8]

1(a) (a) the military authorities of the United States shall have the right to exercise within Australia all criminal and disciplinary jurisdiction conferred on them by the law of the United States over all persons subject to the military law of the United States;

(2) (a) The military authorities of the United States shall have the right to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over persons subject to the military law of the United States with respect to offences, including offences relating to its security, punishable by the law of the United States, but not by the law of Australia.

7(b)The authorities of Australia shall give sympathetic consideration to a request from the military authorities of the United States for assistance in carrying out a sentence of imprisonment pronounced by the authorities of the United States under the provisions of this Article within Australia.

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