Australia's aging extradition and mutual assistance laws are on the verge of a makeover after the Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor, invited public comment on proposed improvements this week.
The laws, enacted more than 20 years ago, are in need of updates in light of how significantly transnational crime has changed over the last two decades.
The existing laws cover Australia's co-operative effort in fighting crimes such as people smuggling, drug trafficking, people trafficking and terrorism.
The proposed reform aims to modernise existing legislation by reducing delays in extradition and mutual assistance processes, expanding the range of law enforcement tools available to meet other countries' needs, and preventing fugitives and the proceeds of crime finding a safe haven in Australia.
O'Connor said the proposed reforms could help strengthen Australia's position on human rights protections in existing legislation. "Particularly in relation to torture and the death penalty," O'Connor said.
The exposure draft legislation is available on the Attorney-General's Department website