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Australian Consular Operations Handbook

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					AUSTRALIAN CONSULAR OPERATIONS HANDBOOK
                                     Contents
Part 1:              Confidentiality, privacy and police
matters
Chapter 1:    Confidentiality and freedom of information
Chapter 2:    The Privacy Act
Chapter 3:    Managing allegations of criminal conduct overseas

Part 2: Consular services: welfare of Australians
overseas
Chapter 4:    Welfare of Australians overseas
Chapter 5:    Registration of Australians overseas
Chapter 6:    Arrest, detention and imprisonment
Chapter 7:    Medical evacuation
Chapter 8:    Deaths of Australians overseas
Chapter 9:    Estates of Australians overseas
Chapter 10:   Taking custody of funds and property
Chapter 11:   Child abduction and welfare of minors


Part 3: Financial assistance
Chapter 12:   Provision of financial assistance overseas
Chapter 13:   Travellers’ emergency loans
Chapter 14:   Medical treatment and medical evacuation
Chapter 15:   Repatriation
Chapter 16:   Prisoners

Part 4: Emergency loans and administration
Chapter 17: Travellers emergency loans issued by Australian honorary consuls and
Canadian posts
Chapter 18:    Travellers emergency loans issued by emergency response team
Chapter 19:    Consular services special account
Chapter 20:    Consular emergency services facility

Part 5: Legal advice, legal processes and notarial
services
Chapter 21:   Legal advice and assistance
Chapter 22:   Legal processes
Chapter 23:   Notarial and other legal services
Part 1:                Confidentiality, privacy and police
matters
Chapter 1:             Confidentiality and freedom of information
1.1    Importance of confidentiality and privacy in consular matters
1.2    Confidentiality of records
1.3    Freedom of Information Act
1.4    Managing FOI requests
1.5    FOI statutory timeframes
1.6    Requests under the FOI Act
1.7    FOI requests – the process
1.8    Contact point for FOI
1.9    Freedom of information and defamation
1.10   Defences against defamation

1.1     Importance of confidentiality and privacy in consular matters
Confidentiality of information and privacy of consular clients are the highest importance in
managing consular cases. This chapter deals in some detail with the legislative and practical
issues involved. Consular officers should have a sound working knowledge of the principles
involved.
In discharging their consular duties overseas, officers have a moral and, in some cases,
statutory duty to act in accordance with the social values, philosophies and ideals of
Australian society, reflected in the legislation dealt with in this chapter. The Department
expects that, within the framework of their work, officers will give particular worth to the rights
and dignity of the individual.

1.2       Confidentiality of records
All information, statements, documents and conversations between a client and an
Australian consular officer in Australia or an overseas mission are confidential to that client
and the Government.
Officers must not pass any document or oral communication of the kind described above to
any unauthorised person or group (either inside or outside the Department) without the
express approval of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section of the Department.
There are exceptions to this general rule, however, under the Freedom of Information Act
and the Privacy Act. The Privacy Act is dealt with in Chapter 2. The Freedom of Information
Act is dealt with in the following sections.
There is no concept of ‘consular client confidentiality’ when admissions of possible criminal
conduct are made by a consular client. DFAT officers who become aware of information
which could be suspected to relate to the commission of a serious criminal offence must
follow the procedure set out in Admin. Circ N543/09 on Australian extraterritorial offences
and the responsibility to report.

1.3     Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 extends, so far as possible, access by the Australian
community to information in the possession of the Government. It does this by:
     making available to the public certain information about the operations of
       departments and public authorities
     ensuring that certain information about rules and practices affecting the public is
       readily available to affected persons
     creating a general right of access to documentary information, subject to exemption
       provisions in the Act, in the possession of ministers, departments and public
       authorities. This right is usually exercised by a member of the public making a
       request under the Act. The Department commonly receives requests from consular
       clients for the content of their case file.
Consular officers should be familiar with the Act and its implications. They should take this
into account in all dealings with the public, both in Australia and overseas, when drafting any
document relating to a consular case, including cables, memorandums, CMIS entries, and e-
mails. In fact, as the Act applies to all Departmental activities, officers need to bear its
provisions in mind when executing all their duties.
An introduction to the Freedom of Information Act is in the Department’s FOI Circular No
P0862 of 11 January 2008.
This handbook is also available to the public.
A security classification does not prevent the availability of a document under the FOI Act.
For FOI purposes, security classifications merely indicate an assessment of a document’s
sensitivity when it is originated. The determining factor is the balance of public interest, in the
light of the exceptions and exemptions specified in the Act.

1.4      Managing FOI requests
(See P0862 Freedom of Information: responsibilities for management and processing of FOI
requests.) The Department's performance in this area is subject to independent review and
legal appeal processes, and to scrutiny by ministers, parliamentarians, the Ombudsman and
the media. It should be accorded appropriate priority by branches, state offices and posts.
The Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section in Domestic Legal Branch manages
responses to FOI requests received by the Department.
Decisions on whether to release documents under the Act are made by an SES Band 1
officer designated for each request. They usually have responsibility for the subject matter of
the request.

1.5     FOI statutory timeframes
An agency generally has 30 calendar days from the time of receiving the application to
provide the applicant with a decision on access to the documents requested. In limited
circumstances, when consultation is required with individuals, businesses or state/territory
governments, an agency may claim an additional 30 calendar days to complete the request.
While it is the Department’s practice also to consult foreign governments, when necessary,
these do not attract the additional 30 days.

1.6   Requests under the FOI Act
An FOI request must meet certain procedural requirements:
      it must be a request for documents, not general information. The request should
        clearly describe the requested documents
      it must be made in writing to the Director, Privacy Law Section, at the Department’s
        mailing address
      it must be accompanied by a AUD30 application fee. An applicant may apply for the
        Department to remit the fee, but must provide supporting reasons. The Department
        may remit the fee for any reason, including if payment would cause financial
        hardship, or if giving access to the requested documents would be in the interest of
        the general public, or a substantial section of the public.
      applicants do not have to be Australian citizens, but they are required to specify an
        address in Australia where notices under the Act may be sent.
Australian overseas missions are not authorised to accept FOI requests from the public. If a
post receives a request, they should cable Canberra and forward the original request by bag.
The official date of receipt will be the date of receipt in Canberra.

1.7     FOI requests – the process
On receiving an application, the Privacy Law Section will task all relevant branches, posts
and state offices to search for relevant documents. The section will also ask posts and state
offices to provide copies of any relevant documents in the next available bag. The section
asks branches to provide copies of any relevant documents later in the process, given that
no time is lost in transit. The section contacts branches by minute to the branch head, and
overseas posts and state offices by cable.
Work areas should respond to the section’s tasking within three working days by minute to
the Director Privacy Law Section or by cable.
Work areas must search all relevant:
   TRIM files, including all relevant open and closed parts, and archived files
   working documents
   electronic documents including cables, emails and database entries, handwritten
      notes and margin notes.
The tasking will include a document retrieval form. The branch head, or Head of
Mission/Head of Post, or another SES staff member at a post or state office must certify that
a complete search of all records has been completed. The form will generally also ask for an
estimate of the number of relevant pages of documents, and the number of relevant pages
which may be sensitive.
Work areas which do not hold relevant documents should provide a nil return.
The Privacy Law Section will then collate responses from all relevant areas of the
Department and prepare a preliminary assessment of the charge for processing the request.
The applicant may apply for the Department to waive or reduce the charge. Once a deposit
is paid by the applicant, or the Department decides to waive the charge, the section will ask
branches to provide copies of any relevant documents. Branches are generally asked to
provide hard copies within three working days.
When work areas provide copies of any relevant documents, attention should be drawn, for
example in the minute or cable or by margin notes, to any material in the documents which
may be sensitive, including that its release may involve the unreasonable disclosure of
personal information, or it could reasonably be expected to damage international relations.
When the Privacy Law Section receives copies of any relevant documents, it will collate and
schedule those documents, and appoint an SES Band 1 officer as the decision-maker for the
request.

1.8    Contact point for FOI
Enquiries from the public about FOI, such as requests for access to documents or inquiries
about FOI processes, should be referred to the Privacy Law Section (tel 6261 3499, fax
6261 2144 or email FPL@dfat.gov.au). The section manages all contact between the
Department and the applicant throughout the FOI process.

1.9     Freedom of information and defamation
As the Australian community has a right to access to information in the Government’s
possession, consular officers should be aware of the concept of defamation. Under
Australian law, defamation is a communication from one person to another which lowers or
harms the reputation of a third person, who is able to be identified.
In general, defamation is established when there are three elements present:
       the matter must have been communicated to at least one third party (known as
          publication)
       the matter complained of is capable of being defamatory (the meaning of the words)
       the matter must be capable of identifying the plaintiff (identification).
A defamation may be contained in printed material, written statements or spoken. A
statement may be defamatory, either because of what is expressly said or because of what
is imputed (or inferred). The standard used to determine if something is defamatory is that of
ordinary members of the community, applying current community standards.
There are currently uniform defamation laws which apply to the Commonwealth for material
published after 1 January 2006. However, defamation laws vary in some respects between
each of the Australian states and the Northern Territory. In the ACT, the law of defamation
generally follows the NSW laws which are the basis of the uniform laws.
This handbook stresses the need for consular officers to provide the Department with full
reports on consular cases, including descriptions of clients. However, consular officers
should be mindful of the potential to make statements about their clients which could be
considered defamatory. This is because under the FOI Act, the material may be able to be
disclosed to the person who is the subject of the report.
Consular officers have a duty to report events frankly and fully when reporting consular
cases and they should aim to report cases based on the facts. When a consular officer
needs to report on another individual’s assessment of a consular client’s behaviour, they
should try to identify the maker of that statement when possible. For example, if a member of
the local police force makes a statement about the behaviour of a consular client, this should
be recorded.

1.10 Defences against defamation
It may not be possible or very difficult to avoid making a defamatory statement. In this case,
there may be a defence available to the defamation. Defences may include: honest opinion
(formerly known as fair comment), justification/truth, qualified privilege, or other defences.
Whether a particular defence is available will depend on the case. Consular officers should
seek advice from the General Litigation, Corporate and Commercial Law Section in this
instance.
The defence of honest opinion or fair comment requires that the matter in question is a
comment, that the factual basis of the comment is true, stated or indicated and is distinct
from the comment, that the comment is on a matter of public interest, and that the comment
is fair, ie. a fair minded person could honestly hold that opinion on the basis of the facts, and
is not brought about by malice.
The defence of justification/truth applies when you can prove that the material published was
substantially true. However, matters which could appear to be defamatory in effect, however
true, must only be communicated to persons properly authorised to receive it in the course of
their official duties.
The defence of qualified privilege may be available when the person making the defamatory
communication and the person receiving it have a mutual or reciprocal duty or interest in
making or receiving it. However, the person (ie. Departmental officers) must have had a duty
to make the communication to the person to whom they reported, and they must not have
been malicious.
When the Department and its officers are granting access to documents under the FOI Act
and when this access is required to be given to the Australian community, or an authorised
officer under the FOI Act believes this access is required, the FOI Act can provide protection
from action for defamation.
However, the FOI Act does not protect against defamation actions when a Departmental
officer defames a person or persons in the ordinary course of their duty as an officer.
This may, in turn, mean that the Commonwealth (the Department) is found to be vicariously
liable for the publication of the defamatory statements – to the extent that the Department is
liable for the publication.
The FOI Act can only potentially protect against defamation when the information is provided
in response to a request under the FOI Act. Therefore, consular officers should not volunteer
additional information, especially when this might be seen to be defamatory. A better
approach would be to advise those requesting information that this may be provided to them
if they make a request under the FOI Act.
Before recording the details of a consular case, consular officers should consider the
following:
       the context – have particular individuals been identified? Are there any possible
            imputations (ie. can something negative be inferred)? Could they be seen as
            defamatory? Consular officers should put themselves in the position of the
            person about whom the statement is being made
       whether any editing or clarification may be required
       whether identification of particular individuals is necessary.
Consular officers should record all relevant information on the performance of their functions.
They should record facts rather than their judgments. Consular officers must therefore
exercise great care in making written or oral statements about individuals, and when
possible avoid gratuitous or colourful expressions.
Consular officers should ensure that what is recorded in a consular case is relevant; has
supporting evidence, could not be seen as malicious, and reflects the performance of official
functions. Consular officers are then more likely to have a defence to any claim of
defamation, on the basis that their records were made properly and accurately for a
legitimate purpose. Consular officers should also ensure that possibly defamatory reports
describing their clients are clearly attributed to their original source.

Chapter 2: The Privacy Act
2.1   Summary of the 11 Information Privacy Principles
2.2   Exceptions to Privacy Principle 11
2.3   Gaining consent to use and disclose personal information
2.4   Consent to the disclosure and use of personal information
2.5   Public interest determination
2.6   Application of the waiver
2.7   Definitions
2.8   Conditions applying to the Department’s implementation of the waiver
2.9   Importance of informed consent
Appendix 2A: Information privacy principles
Appendix 2B Public Interest Determination
Appendix 2C: Summary of the Privacy Act waiver and consular work

The Privacy Act 1988 (the Act) imposes legal requirements on the ways in which
government departments and agencies may collect, store, use and disclose personal
information about an individual with whom departments and agencies have dealings.
Therefore, the requirements of the Act have important implications for consular work.
Consular officers need to familiarise themselves with all its provisions, especially those
concerning disclosure.
 A breach of any of those principles can amount to illegal interference in an individual’s
privacy under section 16 of the Act. The Privacy Commissioner is empowered to receive (s
36) and investigate (s 41) complaints under the Act and to enforce its provisions, as well as
impose penalties against those who breach the Act.

2.1     Summary of the 11 Information Privacy Principles
The Act lays down 11 Information Privacy Principles, the golden rules of privacy. These are
set out in full in section 14 of the Act ( Appendix 2A).
Information Privacy Principle 11 is most relevant to consular work because of the limits it
places on the disclosure to others of personal information about a consular client.
Principle 1:     Restricting collection of information to lawful purposes and by fair means.
Principle 2:     Ensuring individuals are aware of the purpose for collecting the information.
Principle 3:     Ensuring personal information collected is of good quality and not too
                 intrusive.
Principle 4: Ensuring proper security and control of personal information.
Principle 5: Allowing people to know what personal information is collected and why.
Principle 6: Allowing individuals access to their own records.
Principle 7: Ensuring that stored personal information is good quality, including allowing
                 people to provide corrections to the information.
Principle 8: Ensuring that personal information is good quality before using it.
Principle 9: Ensuring that personal information is only used for a relevant purpose.
Principle 10: Limiting the use of personal information to the purposes for which it was
collected.
Principle 11: Preventing the disclosure of personal information outside the agency, except
in certain limited circumstances.

2.2   Exceptions to Privacy Principle 11
Information Privacy Principle 11.1 of the Act places limits on disclosure of personal
information as follows:
“a record-keeper who has possession or control of a record that contains personal
information shall not disclose the information to a person, body or agency (other than the
individual concerned) unless:
(a)   the individual concerned is reasonably likely to be aware, or made aware under
      Principle 2 [Appendix 2A], that information of that kind is usually passed to that person,
      body or agency;
(b)   the individual concerned has consented to the disclosure;
(c) the record-keeper believes on reasonable grounds that the disclosure is necessary to
prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of the individual
concerned or of another person;
(d)   the disclosure is required or authorised by or under law; or
(e) the disclosure is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of Australian criminal law
or of an Australian law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or for the protection of Australian
public revenue.”
Strictly applied, these provisions of the Privacy Act can pose certain difficulties for the
Department in the provision of consular services. To disclose personal information, one of
the five exceptions listed above must be satisfied.
Therefore, unless one of the exceptions in IPP 11.1(a), (c), (d) or (e) applies, the Act
requires consular officers to obtain consent (IPP 11.1(b)) from an individual requiring
consular assistance before personal information can be passed to their nominated contact or
relatives. In the absence of another applicable exception in IPP11, the Department cannot
disclose any information about an individual without this consent.
It is therefore important for consular officers to obtain consent from clients as soon as
possible. The form, Consent to the Disclosure and Use of Personal Information, described
below should be used for this when possible.

2.3     Gaining consent to use and disclose personal information
A Consent to the Disclosure and Use of Personal Information form (2.4), is to be completed
by all consular clients as soon as possible after the consular officer has had contact with
them. The form asks clients to:
        consent to the disclosure of personal information to any persons, bodies or
         agencies reasonably deemed necessary by DFAT to ensure that the client’s
         consular needs are met and for the administration of the Australian Passports Act
         2005
        consent to DFAT disclosing personal details to a nominated contact or personal
         representatives, details of which are to be provided on the form
        decide if they wish to limit the information being disclosed, by nominating
         information they do not wish disclosed.
When signed, the consular officer should record all information in the contact section of the
case file on CMIS/CMLIS. If the client does not agree to give consent or limits consent in
some way, these details are to be recorded in the comments under the Contact section of
the case file on CMIS/CMLIS. It is also good practice to record any particular comments
clients might have in respect to the privacy consent in the CMIS/CMLIS chronology.
When an individual’s consent is refused, or cannot be obtained for other reasons, or when
an individual’s capacity to provide informed consent is in some way under question as the
consequence, for example, of some physical, psychiatric or drug-induced incapacity,
executing the Department’s duty under the Act can impede the Department’s ability to meet
its consular obligations to Australians overseas.
When information is not disclosed due to privacy considerations, the interests and wellbeing
of a person requiring consular help can occasionally be affected adversely and/or their
nominated contact placed in circumstances of uncertainty and stress. While there are often
good reasons for not disclosing personal information without consent, this can create the
perception that the Department is unhelpful, with members of the public frustrated by its
inability to disclose information.

2.4     Consent to the disclosure and use of personal information

      CONSENT TO THE DISCLOSURE AND USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

      Any personal information provided to the Commonwealth is protected by the Privacy
      Act 1988. Any wrongful use or disclosure of such information may be subject to
      sanctions under the Crimes Act 1914 and the Public Service Act 1999.
      I, (full name as appears in passport)………………………………………………,
      of address) ………………………………..……………………………………….,
      born in (state/territory)………………………..on date) ………………………..., holder
      of Australian passport number………………………..issued at (place of
      issue)………..……………..on (date) ……………..……………………:
    A. consent to authorised officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    (“DFAT”) disclosing relevant personal details about me, and information concerning my
    situation and/or whereabouts, to any persons, bodies and agencies reasonably deemed
    necessary by DFAT in the circumstances, for use by them to ensure that my consular
    needs are met and for the administration of the Australian Passports Act 2005.

    B. consent to authorised officers of DFAT disclosing relevant personal details about me,
    and information concerning my situation and/or whereabouts to the following
    Nominated contact/ personal representative(s) (eg. friend, lawyer, medical practitioner,
    MP):

    (1)…………………………………………………………………………………………
    ……………………………………………………………………………………….
                        (insert name, address and contact phone or e-mail if known)

    (2)…………………………………………………………………………………………
    ……………………………………………………………………………………….
                        (insert name, address and contact phone or e-mail if known)

    (3)…………………………………………………………………………………………
    ……………………………………………………………………………………….
                        (insert name, address and contact phone or e-mail if known)

    C. notify authorised officers of the DFAT that I do not consent to the following types of
    personal information being disclosed to the persons or agencies referred to in paragraphs
    ‘A’ or ‘B’ above. (e.g. police or medical records, or whereabouts) (delete if not
    applicable):
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………
    ……………………………………………………………………………………...

    D. understand that information provided to DFAT will be disclosed to the Australian
    Federal Police where the disclosure is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the
    criminal law of Australia or of an Australian law imposing a pecuniary penalty.


    …………………...
    Date

        …………………….…...                           ………………….………………………
         Signature of client                      Name and signature of witness



2.5    Public interest determination
Given the unique work performed by DFAT’s consular officers, the Privacy Commissioner
granted the Department a Public Interest Determination (‘the waiver’) authorising a restricted
waiver of the requirements of the Act with respect to Information Privacy Principle 11.1.
(Appendices 2B and 2C)
 Summary of the waiver provided by the Determination
The waiver allows the Department to disclose personal information in additional limited
circumstances when disclosure cannot be made under one of the exceptions in Information
   Privacy Principle 11, and when the individual’s capacity to give informed consent is in some
   way under question, or when the person’s consent cannot be obtained.
   The waiver allows the Department to disclose limited personal information in the following
   circumstances:
          hospitalisation/possible psychiatric illness
          arrest/imprisonment
          welfare/whereabouts are unknown.
   As required by the Privacy Commissioner’s Determination, this handbook provides guidance
   on:
                ascertaining the status of ‘nominated contact’
                clarifying the interpretation of ‘humanitarian reasons’
                clarifying the interpretation of ‘publicly available information’.
   Before a decision is made to disclose information under the waiver, some basic criteria must
   be satisfied:
Q1. Can the proposed disclosure be made under an existing exception in IPP 11?
   If so, IPP 11 must be used.
 Q2.If disclosure cannot be made under IPP 11, then does the waiver allow the Department to
    make the proposed disclosure?
    If disclosure is allowed under the waiver, the Department must give due regard to the
    sensitivity of the information and note the general principle that only the minimum
    information should be disclosed. Please note that neither the IPPs nor the waiver requires
    a disclosure to be made.
    If disclosure is not provided for under the waiver, then a disclosure cannot be made.
   All disclosures under the waiver must be reported annually to the Privacy Commissioner.
   Consular Operations keeps a record of every disclosure made for reporting purposes.

   2.6     Application of the waiver
   The following guidance on applying the waiver in three areas of consular work should be
   read in close conjunction with the precise terms of the waiver.
   Hospitalisation/possible psychiatric illness
   Before considering disclosure under the waiver, the Department must first consider carefully
   whether disclosure is not already provided for by an exemption under IPP 11(1) (c). That
   section provides for disclosure when it is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and
   imminent threat to life and health.
   Under the terms of the waiver, the Department, on its own initiative, may disclose personal
   information about Australian nationals travelling overseas to their nominated contact when
   the Department believes on reasonable grounds that:
        there is a serious threat to the health of an Australian overseas
        the individual concerned is unable because of the nature of his or her illness to give
          informed consent to the disclosure
        disclosure is necessary to reduce a threat to the life or health of the individual, or
          disclosure is necessary for humanitarian reasons relevant to the individual or family.
   An example of a person’s inability to give informed consent might be when the person is
   unconscious or hospitalised in a serious condition and unable to understand information or
   indicate preferences, or when the person might be suffering from a mental illness or a
   psychotic reaction to drugs.
It may, for example, be necessary to disclose information to the nominated contact so they
can furnish treating doctors overseas with information about the person’s prior treatment
when this is necessary to prevent inappropriate treatment.
The term ‘humanitarian reasons’ in subsection (iii) is defined in detail. As an example, this
may be relied on when disclosing information to the nominated contact to enable them to
find better treatment for a person if publicly available treatment overseas is substandard.
Generally, if a person has refused consent to disclose information, it cannot be disclosed.
However, if an appropriately qualified medical practitioner has assessed that the person
refusing consent is incapable of providing or refusing informed consent, then a disclosure
may be considered. When possible, the medical practitioner should be qualified in the
appropriate specialty and their assessment of the person’s incapacity to provide informed
consent should be in writing. When the doctor’s assessment cannot be obtained in writing, a
record should be kept of their assessment, name, position, address and the date of the
assessment.
If it is clear that a temporarily incapacitated person, whose medical condition is neither life-
threatening nor dependent on medical information held in Australia, can recover sufficiently
to make an informed decision soon, then that person should be consulted before consular
officers alert their nominated contact.
When determining whether or not to proceed with disclosures of this kind, it is important that
the Department bear in mind the sensitive nature of health records and that the disclosed
information should be kept to the minimum necessary to achieve the purpose of the
disclosure.
Arrest/imprisonment
In response to enquiries from relatives, the Department may confirm, clarify and correct
information in the news media about a person who has been arrested or imprisoned, even
when that person has not consented to the release of information. This disclosure may not
occur at the Department’s initiative.
The Department may not disclose any additional personal information unless this disclosure
is permitted by IPP11, or another provision of the Privacy Commissioner’s waiver.
In response to requests from the news media, consent of the person involved is required
before the Department can confirm, clarify and correct information about an arrest or
imprisonment. A person may authorise a family member or another person to make
decisions and consent to disclosures on their behalf.
The Privacy Act does not affect the release of information that does not identify a living
person.
Welfare/whereabouts enquiries
This part of the waiver applies when there is a request from a nominated contact about a
person’s welfare/whereabouts, and the individual refuses consent to disclosure of
information. The first preference in these cases is for a person to consent to disclose
personal information. If the person does not consent, however, they should be asked
whether they consent to the disclosure of certain limited information to help alleviate the
anxiety of their nominated contact.
If a person refuses consent, under the waiver the Department may exercise the option to
disclose to the nominated contact that contact has been made and the person has refused to
consent to have information disclosed. The person should be informed if the Department
intends to exercise this option.
There is no requirement for the Department to disclose this information and there could be
compelling reasons (eg. the inquiring person is abusive/hostile towards the person overseas)
for not disclosing even these limited details. The specifics of each case should be
considered carefully, with serious for a person’s right to refuse to have information passed to
anyone.
In order to achieve the best possible consular result, consular officers may, following a
person’s initial refusal to consent to disclosure, later try to persuade the person to agree to
disclose limited information that is sufficient to ameliorate the family concerns.
This approach assumes that a person may be more likely to agree to disclose certain pieces
of information than to give the Department a blanket authorisation to convey personal
information to their nominated contact.
If in these cases the Department believes there is a serious and imminent threat to the
health or life of the person, or the nominated contact is threatened by non-disclosure, it
should bear in mind the exemptions allowed by IPP11(1)(c).

2.7      Definitions
In its implementation of the waiver, the Department abides by the following definitions of the
terms nominated contact, humanitarian reasons and publicly available information.
Nominated contact:
In the first instance, nominated contact is interpreted as the person nominated by the person
overseas receiving consular assistance. The nominated contact may or may not be a
member of that person’s family.
When a person overseas is unable personally to nominate a person to whom information
may be disclosed, the Department will check to see whether the person exercised the option
to nominate a contact in their passport or passport application, and if so, use that source.
Failing that, the Department will try to make contact with immediate family members in the
following order of precedence: spouses, children or parents, and siblings.
Depending on the information available to the Department in these cases, the Department
will need to judge whom best to contact in a particular family circumstance. For example, it
would be inappropriate to contact an estranged spouse or minor child. The Department
should aim to identify a family member capable of acting as a contact point within the family
who shows a responsible interest in the welfare of the person overseas.
Humanitarian reasons
Humanitarian reasons are defined as those that would apply when non-disclosure could add
to the seriousness and threatening nature of a person’s medical condition, or cause extreme
distress and possibly illness to relatives who have a reasonable expectation that the
Department will disclose information about a family member hospitalised overseas.
Disclosure in these cases should be subject to the test that non-disclosure would be likely to
have significant, serious and undesirable consequences for the person concerned or their
nominated contact.
Publicly available information
Publicly available information is defined as personal information published or broadcast in or
by the Australian news media about a person who is the subject of consular interest. The
Department should take care not to add any new context which might subtly alter the
meaning of information already published.

2.8     Conditions applying to the Department’s implementation of the waiver
In accordance with the conditions of implementation attached by the Privacy Commissioner
to the public interest determination affecting the Department’s consular work, the Minister
has decided that the Assistant Secretary, Consular Branch, and the Director, Consular
Operations Section, are authorised senior officers for making relevant decisions under the
determination:
   all requests for information under terms of the waiver must be referred to one of those
    officers for decision
   the Department has undertaken that senior officers authorised to make decisions
    under the determination will, in coming to a view, take into account the sensitive nature
    of health or criminal records
   the above guidelines are to be used by the Department in the implementation of the
    determination
   the Department will not rely on the provisions of the determination if a disclosure can
    be made under the exceptions in IPP11
   the Department has taken steps to publicise the way in which it intends to implement
    the determination
   the Department will report annually to the Privacy Commissioner on the number of
    times disclosure of information under the determination occurred, and under which
    provisions of the determination each disclosure was authorised.
2.9      The importance of informed consent
In all cases when the disclosure of personal information is at issue, consular officers should
do their utmost to obtain the informed consent of the person in question. When informed
consent cannot be obtained, the guidance of the Department in Canberra must be sought on
possible application of the Privacy Commissioner’s limited waiver. In the absence of
informed consent, consular officers may not disclose any information about the person to the
nominated contact or to others until approval from the Department in Canberra is received.

Chapter 3:            Managing allegations of criminal conduct overseas
3.1   Managing allegations of criminal conduct by Australians overseas
3.2   Role of overseas posts
3.3   Allegations involving Australians that are, or become, consular clients
3.4   Special considerations for allegations of child sex tourism
3.5   Allegations involving an Australian Government employee
3.6   Privacy principles
3.7   Questions
3.8   Extradition and mutual assistance
3.9   Extradition or mutual assistance requests from a foreign government
3.10 Media enquiries
3.11 Contact details
Appendix 3A: Australian Crimes Act 1914: part 111a – child sex tourism

This chapter provides guidance for consular officers on managing and reporting information
which could reasonably be suspected to relate to an offence under Australian law (also A/C
N543/09 Australian extraterritorial offences and the responsibility to report). Additional
guidance on managing difficult or complex cases should be sought from the Head of Mission
or the Director, Sanctions and Transnational Crime Section.
This chapter also gives an overview of DFAT’s role in extradition and mutual assistance in
criminal matters. The Attorney-General’s Department is the lead agency in these matters.
Full details on how to manage requests are described in A/C P0982.
This chapter provides guidance in the context that a person alleged to have committed, or
attempted or threatened to commit, an Australian extraterritorial offence either is, or
becomes, a consular client.
3.1     Managing allegations of criminal conduct by Australians overseas
Some offences under Australia’s criminal law apply to Australian citizens, permanent
residents and companies when committed overseas. These offences include, but are not
limited to, those associated with:
       Corruption, such as bribery of foreign public officials
       transnational organised crime, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, people
          smuggling and trafficking in persons
       child sex tourism
       terrorism, such as participation in terrorist acts, membership of a terrorist
        organisation, providing support to a terrorist organisation or financing terrorism
       breach of United Nations Security Council sanctions
       international peace and security, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity,
        genocide, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and foreign incursions and
        recruitment.

3.2 Role of overseas posts
In accordance with the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct, consular
officers are responsible for ensuring that when they become aware of information which they
reasonably suspect relates to the commission of a serious criminal offence, they report it to
the appropriate Australian authorities.
Consular officers who become aware of information which could reasonably be suspected to
relate to an offence under Australian law must observe the following procedures:
       report the matter immediately to the Head of Mission
       post must then cable all information that relates to the matter to Canberra (attention
          Director, Sanctions and Transnational Crime Section copied to the Senior Legal
          Adviser) by Head of Mission - approved cable. DFAT officers should not investigate
          the matter further. At posts with accredited Australian Federal Police Liaison
          Officers, the Head of Mission may wish to consult Australian Federal Police Liaison
          Officers on preparing the report to be cabled to Canberra
       a new ODIN topic has been created for reporting on the possible commission of
          extraterritorial offences (Topic: Legal; Subtopic: Allegations). As far as possible,
          limit reporting to an unclassified level, with a handling of ‘legal-in-confidence’. If the
          person is a consular client, as well as the above, add the topic: Consular; Subtopic:
          Case Management. Any national security related or sensitive information should be
          cabled separately by classified cable.
While there are no requirements for the format of the report, it is of assistance if officers
could include reference to the following, to the extent possible:
       source of the information and any comment on the credibility of the source
       chronology of the alleged conduct
       names and personal details of the parties involved, both Australian and foreign
       any other relevant information.
The Australian Federal Police Liaison Officers will liaise directly with local law enforcement
authorities when necessary.
Taking into account privacy considerations, the Department will pass to the Australian
Federal Police information it reasonably suspects could relate to an Australian extraterritorial
offence.
It is the responsibility of the Australian Federal Police and other Australian law enforcement
agencies to conduct investigations into credible allegations of Australian extraterritorial
offences. DFAT officers are expected to report information they reasonably suspect to relate
to the commission or attempted commission of an extraterritorial offence, according to these
guidelines. Under no circumstances should consular officers seek to investigate the
allegations themselves.
It is the responsibility of the Sanctions and Transnational Crime Section to ensure that any
information on possible criminal activity that is politically sensitive is treated in accordance
with the National Guidelines for Referring Politically Sensitive Matters to the Australian
Federal Police. These guidelines require that all matters of a politically sensitive nature, not
limited to fraud and requiring the assistance of the Australian Federal Police, should be
raised with the Minister for Home Affairs by the relevant minister or department when
referring the matter to the Australian Federal Police. This enables the Government to be
informed at the earliest juncture of potentially politically contentious matters that may require
Australian Federal Police investigation.
In the event an Australian raises with a consular officer the possibility of committing an
Australian extraterritorial offence, and subject to overriding safety or other considerations,
that officer must inform the person that:
     Australian criminal law may apply to such conduct
     the Australian Government cannot condone illegal conduct under any circumstances
     the person should seek independent legal advice
     Australian Federal Police officers have a duty to report the possible commission of
         Australian extraterritorial offences to Australian authorities.

3.3     Allegations involving Australians that are, or become, consular clients
The fact that information exists suggesting an Australian may have committed an Australian
extraterritorial offence does not diminish that Australian’s entitlement to appropriate consular
assistance. Conversely, neither the provision of consular assistance to Australians nor the
Privacy Act 1988 extends to protecting the client from consequences of actions prohibited
under Australian or local law. Consular clients must be made aware that any information
provided to DFAT will be disclosed to the Australian Federal Police when disclosure is
reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law or of a law imposing a
pecuniary penalty.
In these instances, the Head of Mission may need to make arrangements to avoid the
appearance of conflict between the post’s consular role and its responsibility to report
information suggesting a breach of Australian law. When practical, posts should assign to
different officers the management of any follow-up related to the allegations, including
enquiries from the Australian Federal Police, or formal mutual legal assistance or extradition
requests, and the provision of consular assistance.

3.4     Special considerations for allegations of child sex tourism
Allegations involving the sexual exploitation of children are of utmost concern and should be
treated seriously and dealt with quickly. Officers should, however, be aware that criminal
allegations against a person may be unsubstantiated, vexatious or defamatory. Any
information involving child sex or other criminal allegations should be treated in accordance
with these guidelines and the provisions of the Privacy Act.
The Australian Government is committed to protecting children from sexual exploitation by
Australians who travel or live overseas. The role of overseas posts, in addition to providing
normal consular assistance, is to:
      provide information to foreign governments and Australians overseas on the scope
            and purpose of Australia’s child sex tourism legislation
      maintain a dialogue with host governments, ensuring Australia’s firm stance against
            the sexual exploitation of children is fully understood
       facilitate communication between individuals and the Australian Federal Police in
             relation to specific child sex allegations against Australians overseas
       facilitate communication between host governments and the Australian Federal
             Police when child sex allegations are made through the diplomatic channel.
When allegations are made by a child, the post should also ensure the child’s welfare and
health are handled appropriately and sensitively. This might involve contacting parents, adult
guardians, local welfare agencies and health professionals.
Consular assistance should be provided immediately if the child is Australian.

3.5    Allegations involving an Australian Government employee
When an officer at post becomes aware of allegations involving an Australian Government
employee, the officer must report the matter immediately to the Head of Mission/Head of
Post who will, in turn, report the matter to the Conduct and Ethics Unit. This unit has a formal
arrangement with the Australian Federal Police to refer allegations involving illegal conduct.
The Australian Federal Police or Australian Federal Police Local Office will liaise directly with
local law enforcement authorities when necessary.
A/CP1021 Conduct and Ethics Manual provides additional information on reporting
allegations that involve unlawful behaviour.

3.6    Privacy principles
Disclosure of personal information to the Australian Federal Police in the context of
admissions by or allegations against a person concerned in the commission or threatened
commission of an Australian extraterritorial offence is permitted on the basis described in
Information Privacy Principle 11.1(e):
‘A record-keeper who has possession or control of a record that contains personal
information shall not disclose the information to a person, body or agency (other than the
individual concerned) unless:
     (a) The disclosure is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law.’

3.7    Questions
Questions on applying these guidelines should be referred to the Assistant Secretary,
Consular Branch to Director Sanctions and Transnational Crime Section or to the Conduct
and Ethics Unit.

3.8    Extradition and mutual assistance
The Extradition Act 1988 allows one country to send a person to a requesting country to face
criminal charges, or serve a sentence for an offence against the law of the requesting
country. This ensures a person cannot evade justice simply by crossing borders.
Mutual assistance is the process countries use to provide and obtain formal government-to-
government assistance in criminal investigations and prosecutions.
Extradition and mutual assistance in criminal matters are key tools in enforcing Australia’s
criminal laws and combating transnational crime. It is important that consular officers
manage and report on extradition and mutual assistance matters in a timely and
comprehensive manner.
Extradition and mutual assistance are handled by the Extradition and Mutual Assistance
Branch, International Crime Cooperation Division of the Attorney-General’s Department. This
department advises the Government on extradition and mutual assistance policy, manages
casework, and negotiates bilateral treaties on these issues. DFAT has a procedural role in
managing incoming and outgoing extradition requests, and some mutual assistance
requests.
DFAT officers should refer to A/C PO982 for details on handling extradition and mutual
assistance requests.
Extradition
Australia can make an extradition request to any country. Whether that country will accept
the request depends on its domestic law. When considering a request made to Australia by
another country for extradition of a person to that country, the following objections are
assessed before agreement:
       the offence is political
       the person may have been prosecuted on discriminatory grounds (race, religion,
          nationality, political opinions)
       the person has already been already convicted or punished (double jeopardy)
       it is a military offence only
       if transferred, is the prisoner likely to suffer torture or face the death penalty?
There are also treaty requirements to take into account, both mandatory and discretionary.
The post’s role is to:
      deliver documents through the diplomatic channel
      provide information on other country’s requirements
      monitor progress of an extradition request
      answer questions and clarifications from the country
      deal with media interest in country
      provide consular assistance to detainees.
Requests to the government of the receiving state to detain and arrange for extradition of
persons wanted in Australia on criminal charges must be handled by staff of the mission who
do not normally do consular work and not by consular officers. If the detained person is an
Australian citizen, consular officers are obliged to render the usual assistance to detained
persons. It is most important that consular officers do not appear to have a conflict of interest
in extradition matters.
The Attorney General’s Department will advise the relevant post if an Australian citizen is
being extradited to that country.

3.9     Extradition or mutual assistance requests from a foreign government
Staff should treat all extradition and mutual assistance requests in the strictest confidence to
avoid compromising any investigatory or law enforcement action.
When a post or state or territory office receives an extradition or mutual assistance request
from a host or accredited government, a foreign embassy or consulate based in Australia, or
an international court or tribunal (such as the International Criminal Court) they should cable
the request and include in the subject line either ‘extradition’ or ‘mutual assistance’, the
name of the country making the request and, if known, the name of the person to whom the
request relates, using the distribution topic ‘Legal/Legal Process’ and ensuring Attorney
General’s Department and International Legal Branch are both on the distribution list.
A staff member in Canberra receiving an extradition or mutual assistance request should
immediately send the original request to the Director of Sanctions and Transnational Crime
Section which will liaise with Attorney General’s Department.
3.10 Media enquiries
Media enquiries about extradition or mutual assistance matters should be referred by email
to the Public Affairs area of the Attorney-General’s Department.

3.11   Contact details
Details of the Australian Federal Police liaison posts overseas and their geographic areas of
responsibility are at:
http://www.afp.gov.au/policing/international-liaison/international-network.aspx
Contact details for the AFP in Canberra are :
The Team Leader
Trans-national Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Team
Australian Federal Police
GPO Box 401
Canberra ACT 2601
Australia
Telephone hotline:     1800 813 784 (only for calls from within Australia)
From overseas:        ++61-2-6256 7777
Questions on applying these guidelines should be referred to the Assistant Secretary,
Consular Operations Branch) or to the Conduct and Ethics Unit.

Part 2: Consular services: welfare of Australians
overseas
Chapter 4: Welfare of Australians overseas
4.1     Consular role
4.2     Whereabouts
4.3     Acceptance of requests
4.4     Referring enquiries to posts
4.5     Guidelines for consular officers in Canberra where the enquiry is made to 1
        them
4.6     Guidelines for posts where the enquiry is made to them
4.7     Family emergencies
4.8     Cooperation with the Australian Federal Police
4.9     Post-initiated whereabouts enquiry - subject in Australia
4.10 Hospitalisation and other medical issues
4.11 Checklist information required about Australians injured overseas
4.12 Theft, robbery, loss of effects
4.13 Assault, including sexual assault
4.14 Initial caring for the victim
4.15 General principles
4.16 Rights and needs of a person who has been sexually assaulted
4.17 Guidelines for aiding victims of sexual assault
4.18 Forced marriages
4.19 Welfare: Wrongful removal of persons from Australia
4.20 Relief and repatriation
Appendix 9A: Business Protocol between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Interpol and the National Missing Persons Co-ordination Centre, Australian Federal Police

4.1    Consular role
The Department aims to give humanitarian assistance to Australian citizens and permanent
residents whose welfare is at risk abroad, while respecting their rights to privacy.
Many issues are covered by the concept of welfare. Those more frequently experienced are
covered in this handbook as it is not possible to cover all possibilities.
Part 3 provides details on financial assistance for welfare and repatriation cases.
Consular officers seeking guidance on a case that is not specifically dealt with in this
handbook should seek advice of more senior consular officers at post, or refer the matter for
advice to the desk/case officer in Consular Operations or the Consular Emergency Centre
after hours.

4.2     Whereabouts
The Consular Emergency Centre and Consular Operations Section in Canberra receive
thousands of calls every year from anxious relatives seeking information about the
whereabouts of family members travelling overseas. Usually concern has been triggered by
lack of contact from the traveller when expected.
In nearly all cases, the traveller will eventually make contact and the concerns of the family
will be allayed. There are occasions, however, when there is good reason to pursue
enquiries about a traveller’s whereabouts. Consular officers need to draw upon their
experience and exercise judgment to determine whether and to what extent a whereabouts
enquiry should be acted upon.

4.3     Acceptance of requests
The overriding factor in whereabouts matters is the welfare of an Australian citizen or
permanent resident. As a general rule, the Department will only pursue welfare and
whereabouts enquiries which are based on a well-founded concern for the welfare of an
Australian citizen or permanent resident overseas, and a belief that the person concerned
needs consular assistance.
While most whereabouts enquiries are made by family members, if a person making the
enquiry is not a family member or an Australian citizen or permanent resident, this should
not exclude the enquiry from being accepted and followed up.
The Department will not normally assist with requests for tracing that are prompted by a lack
of contact or that seek only to establish the whereabouts of a person, when there is no well-
founded concern for the person’s welfare or a belief that the person concerned needs
consular assistance.
In accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act, when a person is the subject of a
whereabouts enquiry, that person must be free to choose whether the information sought
should be passed on to the enquirer.
Before accepting and actioning a whereabouts enquiry, the Department expects enquirers to
have exhausted all normal channels to establish the person’s whereabouts, such as banks
where the person holds accounts, credit card providers, mail, e-mail, telephone (including
mobile), etc.
Neither the Department nor posts should refer genuine welfare enquiries, as against tracing
enquiries, to welfare organisations which provide overseas tracing services, such as the Red
Cross or Salvation Army. Individual posts may, of course, contact these organisations as
part of their local procedures. Contact details for the Red Cross and Salvation Army are
www.redcross.org.au/contactus and www.salvationarmy.org.au/contactus
The Department assists with enquiries when motives are humanitarian.
The Department or an overseas post should not undertake:
      enquiries about the whereabouts of non-Australian citizens in Australia. In these
        circumstances, enquirers should be advised to approach the appropriate consular
        or diplomatic mission in Australia or in the country where the enquirer is located.
        When the relevant government does not have representation in Australia, enquirers
        seeking to locate persons in Australia on humanitarian grounds should be advised
        to contact their local Interpol representative to obtain assistance through the police
        network. In exceptional circumstances, when a post needs to instigate a
        whereabouts enquiry, it should do so after consultation with Canberra
       enquiries about distant relatives or those relating to tracing family trees should be
         referred, as appropriate, to welfare organisations such as the Red Cross, the
         Salvation Army or genealogical societies
       enquiries on behalf of a person seeking to locate a spouse, when the purpose is to
         serve legal papers in cases of divorce, child custody, or maintenance arrangements
         should be advised to seek private legal advice
       enquiries of a legal nature, such as private creditors, or credit or hire purchase
         organisations should be pursued through private channels with legal assistance if
         necessary.
Other options that may be available to an enquirer in the above situations include:
      taking out a paid newspaper advertisement (enquirers may be given the names of
        suitable newspapers)
      seeking assistance from the International Red Cross
      using private detective agencies located under the heading Inquiry Agents in the
        classified pages of Australian telephone directories
4.4     Referring enquiries to posts
In the interest of consistency in responses to enquiries, the Department uses the following
terms when communicating enquiries to posts:
PLEASE LOCATE AND CONTACT – is used in life and death situations, such as when the
purpose of the whereabouts enquiry is to inform the person of the death of a family member.
In these cases, the Department expects posts to take all reasonable measures to find the
person, including seeking the cooperation of police and arranging for messages on radio or
television.
PLEASE CHECK WHEREABOUTS–is used when there is concern for a traveller’s welfare.
In these cases the Department expects posts to check their registers, contact immigration
authorities, check with police, major hotels, youth hostels, hospitals and other likely sources
of information.
PLEASE ADVISE IF SUBJECT COMES TO NOTICE – is used in when missing deadlines
or failing to arrive. It is expected posts will check their registers and consular records and
check with any contacts provided by the enquirer.

4.5   Guidelines for consular officers in Canberra when the enquiry is made to them
When a consular officer in Canberra is contacted about the whereabouts of an Australian
overseas, the following details should be obtained:
      full name of the subject, ie. the person whose whereabouts are being sought
      any aliases
      place and date of birth
      passport number
      details of any other nationality or passports held by the subject
      the subject’s contact details: home address, home/work/mobile phone
        numbers/email address
      enquirer’s name and relationship to the subject
      enquirer’s contact details including home address, home/work/mobile phone
        numbers/email address
      reason the subject is being sought
      date and means by which the subject left Australia
      full itinerary of the subject
       date of last contact with the subject, including from where and by what means
       efforts made by enquirer to make contact with subject
       how subject is paying for travel and what form of travel and accommodation the
        subject is likely to be using
       details of the subject’s most recent credit card activity
       details of the subject’s travelling companions and whether the enquirer has
        contacted relatives of travelling companions
       subject’s known medical disorders
       whether the enquirer is the subject’s nominated contact (if not, contact details of
        nominated contact)
       whether, if necessary, the enquirer would be prepared to offer the subject financial
        assistance
       any other relevant information.
Relevant aspects of the Privacy Act should be explained to the enquirer.

4.6    Guidelines for posts when the enquiry is made to them
Most whereabouts enquiries are generated in Canberra and sent to posts for action.
Sometimes, however, an enquiry might be made direct to a post by another post, by an
enquirer in another country, or by an enquirer direct from Australia.
When the initial contact on a whereabouts enquiry is made directly to a post, the caller
should be advised to contact Consular Operations (tel 1 300 555 135 Option 6) to lodge their
enquiry. On occasions, it may be necessary for the post to take the details of the enquiry, in
which case the details set out above should be obtained. The enquirer should be advised
that they still need to contact Consular Operations and repeat the necessary information to
formally lodge the enquiry.
When dealing with a whereabouts enquiry, It is important that posts keep Consular
Operations advised of their actions and the results of those actions as soon as they become
available. A resubmit system at post is of first importance in dealing with all consular cases
and minimises the need for chase up cables from Canberra.
When contact is made with the subject, posts should pass on any message from, and the
contact details of, the originating enquirer by cable. Even if the subject advises they will
contact the enquirer, posts should obtain their consent to advise the enquirer of their safety
and contact details. When the subject does not wish any information to be provided to the
enquirer, they should be encouraged at least to allow the enquirer to be advised that the
subject is well and, preferably, the country in which they are currently located. The
provisions of Public Interest Determination 7 under the Privacy Act may apply in these
circumstances.
When a subject has been located, the post may find that welfare issues requiring further
action might be involved.

4.7     Family emergencies
When an emergency requires notification to very close relatives in cases of serious illness,
injury or death of an Australian abroad (or in Australia when relatives are abroad) information
should be sent by priority cable, and the assistance of appropriate authorities sought without
delay.
In Australia and in some other countries, the police may accept the role of locating and
informing close relatives of the death of an Australian. This assistance should normally be
used where it is available. In countries where local police do not assist, posts will need to
have procedures to institute the best search possible to locate the subject of the enquiry.
When police assistance is available to action a whereabouts enquiry and a post decides to
use other agencies as well, eg. radio stations or automobile associations, the post should
keep the police informed, or preferably consult with them first. Posts should ensure they hold
appropriate authority prior to authorising expenditure on an enquiry. If in doubt, posts should
contact Consular Operations or the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra.
The result of efforts to locate an Australian abroad should be advised by cable, even if the
person located has agreed to telephone direct to the enquirer, so the latter may be informed
promptly that the post has made contact.

4.8     Cooperation with the Australian Federal Police
Procedures are in place with the Australian Federal Police, state and territory police, and
Interpol to streamline the handling of whereabouts enquiries overseas. Under these
arrangements, federal police involvement is only sought by the Department in exceptional
circumstances. The arrangements are set out in the Business Protocol between the
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Interpol and the National Missing Persons Co-
ordination Centre, Australian Federal Police.
Consular Officers are to ensure that all unresolved case files in CMIS and relevant paper
files remain open even after all avenues have been exhausted. Consular Operations Branch
will continue to review unresolved cases every three months.

4.9    Post-initiated whereabouts enquiry – subject in Australia
Posts initiating enquiries should send the following information about the person sought:
     full name
     date and place of birth
     nationality and passport number
     date and means of arrival in Australia
     last known address and date on which it was current
     any known travel plans or preferences.
The private address of a person residing in Australia will not be disclosed to an overseas
enquirer without the former’s consent. When the Department locates the resident it will pass
on the name, address and claimed relationship of the overseas enquirer and make it clear
that the decision to contact the enquirer is up to the resident. Overseas enquirers should be
informed of this procedure.
The principle of privacy is not infringed if an enquirer is allowed to examine an Australian
telephone directory.

4.10 Hospitalisation and other medical issues
Requests for medical assistance may vary widely, from seeking advice on available medical
practitioners to providing substantial assistance to sick or injured people in hospital.
Hospitalisations are one of the most common and time-consuming consular responsibilities
overseas. Cases can range from a simple overnight stay to prolonged and complicated
cases taking weeks to resolve. Next-of-kin are understandably anxious so the consular
officer must pay attention to the development of hospitalisation cases. Reporting must be
timely and accurate.
On arrival at post, consular officers should visit local hospitals and medical facilities and
familiarise themselves with the standard of medical services available, including psychiatric
and ambulance services. It may be prudent for the consul to call on the heads of the major
hospitals and remind them that the Australian mission should be notified of all Australians (or
when relevant, Canadians or other nationals) admitted to their hospital.
When a post has been advised of an illness, injury or admission to hospital of an Australian,
the following information should be provided to Canberra as soon as possible. It is important
that as much of this information as possible should be obtained from the caller during the
notifying phone call. The rest can be obtained from follow-up phone calls, from next-of-kin
accompanying the client, or from the client themselves on the first visit:
        full name, place and date of birth, passport number
        notifying authority
        current location. If in hospital provide address, phone number, including direct
           number to ward. Comment on standard of hospital, English language ability and
           proximity to mission
        name, contact details and English language ability of treating doctor
        detail of incident resulting in hospital admission (where, when, others involved,
           etc.)
        nature of injuries/illness, nature of treatment, and prognosis
        nominated contact details
        details of travelling companions, tour operator and whether they are providing
           assistance to client
        whereabouts of personal effects
        details of any police or other official involvement
        financial arrangements: insurer, funds requirements - details of who to approach,
           cost-estimate of total costs involved
        any special or other requirements
        record of contact with client
        whether Privacy Act consent or medical opinion has been obtained when a client
           is not able to provide informed consent.
When assistance is being provided to more than one client, for example when a number of
people may have been injured in an accident, the post should report in separate cables on
each individual after initial advice on the overall situation has been sent to Consular
Operations.
Consular officers should visit hospitalised clients as soon as practicable to obtain full details
of their situation and to request Privacy Act consent (Consent to the disclosure and use of
personal information form 2.4), and regularly from then on. They are expected to keep
themselves informed of the client’s condition by speaking regularly to the treating doctor.
Regular updates should be provided to Consular Operations to alleviate the anxiety of next-
of-kin in Australia who have consented to being contacted.
If the patient is unconscious or unable to provide consent due to a mental health disorder,
the consular officer will need to seek a waiver of the Privacy Act to enable the nominated
contact to be notified. The treating doctor should be asked for a statement in writing when
this is practicable. It should state that the client cannot give consent. In urgent cases an oral
statement will suffice. The request for a waiver should be sent by a cable or, in very urgent
cases, to the Consular Emergency Centre contacted directly by phone.
Consular officers should also observe the hospital conditions and standard of care and
report if they consider these inadequate to the point that the client’s recovery is endangered.
In this case, consular officers should advise their concerns to Consular Operations which will
consider transferring the client to a better hospital in the area, or evacuating the client to
another country or Australia. For any of these solutions Consular Operations should liaise
closely with next-of-kin and the client’s insurer, if there is one, in determining the most
appropriate course of action. (Chapter 14).
In non-English speaking countries, communication between the client and their treating
doctor may be difficult. The consular officer should ensure that the client can communicate
with their doctor and nursing staff, and is kept up to date on their progress. Locally-engaged
consular staff can assist here.
Similarly, consular officers should check that communication between the client, the hospital
and the client’s insurer is working and assist in resolving any communication breakdowns.
Again, the language skills and assistance of locally-engaged consular officers can be
invaluable.
If the client does not have travel insurance, they need to be advised that they are
responsible for their medical bills and they need to start thinking how they will pay them
(transfer of funds, loan from family, etc.) Posts should ensure that hospitals are aware that
the Department cannot meet hospital and medical charges. These are a matter for private
arrangement between the patient, the hospital and doctors. That said, in some exceptional
circumstances financial assistance may be available. (Part 4)
Major incidents involving hospitalisation of several Australians, or hospitalisation of a
celebrity may generate significant media interest. When this occurs, posts should report as
soon as possible to Consular Operations or the Consular Emergency Centre by phone.
Posts should then report in detail by cable on the trend of events and on action they are
taking. Situations attracting media interest should generally be reported at least twice daily,
at the beginning and end of the working day, or as agreed with Consular Operations in
Canberra. Posts may find it useful to use a brief, situation report format that allows ready up-
dating. Posts should continue to report separately on each individual.

4.11 Checklist information required about Australians injured overseas
    A. Full name, place and date of birth and confirmation of citizenship
    B. Notifying authority-name and contact number
    C. Treating doctor’s name and contact number
       Does the doctor speak English?
    D. Hospital-address
       Ward no.
       Telephone number
       Adequacy?
       English capability? Interpreter required?
       Location of hospital in relation to post
    E Accident circumstances - Place, date, details
    F Injuries received-details, treatment, prognosis. Is patient conscious, mobile? Any
       requirement for Australian medical history/medication?
    G. Nominated contact details
    H. Travel companions, travel details, onwards return, escorts, possible date of
       discharge?
    I. Whereabouts of effects - custodianship
    J. Police/legal involvement
    K. Financial arrangements -
       travel insurance
       funds transfer
       cost estimates in AUD
       patient requirements, e.g. food, personal
    L. Record of contact (phone/visit)
    M. Privacy Act consent obtained. (The Privacy Act does not preclude hospital officials
       making direct contact with family members and/or responding to enquiries, in
       accordance with their own ethics.)
4.12 Theft, robbery, loss of effects
One of the most common request posts receive is for assistance to travellers who have
either been victims of a robbery or theft, or have lost valuables, money or passport. When
the client has appropriate travel insurance, they should be advised to seek the assistance of
their insurer.
When replacing a lost passport, consular officers should follow the instructions in the Manual
on Australian Passport Issue.
To replace lost cash, clients may be able to ask relatives or friends in Australia to send
funds. Organisations such as Amex, Western Union or banks can usually provide a quick
money transfer service to most parts of the world. In some cases, a traveller’s emergency
loan might be appropriate (Chapter 17).
When clients are seeking, through the consular service at post, the assistance of Consular
Operations to approach a bank to obtain financial assistance, it is imperative that the client
provide a signed notification addressed to their bank to permit the Department to be
provided with details of their bank account and for an amount (or balance of account) to be
transferred to the Department.
Any request to Consular Operations should be made by cable (Austrade by fax) and include
at least the following details:
      full name, place and date of birth, passport number
      full details of the person/organisation to contact
      client’s current contact details
      amount of money required (in AUD) and its destination
      the reason for requesting the funds
      if required, despatch details of written authority to bank
      any other relevant information.
As a last resort, Consular Operations may arrange for funds to be transferred to the client via
Consular Special Services Account for a fee (Chapter 19)

4.13 Assault, including sexual assault
A post will normally be notified of the assault of an Australian by the treating hospital, or the
local police if the assault was reported and hospitalisation was not required.
Case management will depend on the situation. The client may be hospitalised with serious
injuries, or held for questioning by police.
The client may wish to pursue charges against their attackers, or may themselves also be
facing charges. In either case, the post should assist by providing a list of lawyers and other
appropriate consular support.
Cases of sexual assault can place extra demands on the consular officer. In dealing with
victims of sexual assault, the Department aims to provide support to the victim and
assistance for the emotional, social, medical and legal consequences of the assault. This
assistance will, however, vary depending on local conditions.
4.14 Initial caring for the victim
In some countries posts will be the first contact and main source of support for an Australian
citizen following a sexual assault. In other countries with established systems for dealing
with this, the level of consular assistance will be less. If the post is the first contact, it is
important to communicate immediately, clearly and slowly to the victim the extent of consular
jurisdiction and influence when dealing with local authorities . Do not make the discussion
overly complex. Hence, each posts must understand, in general, local procedures for dealing
with police, medical and legal requirements in order to pass this information on to the victim.
Posts should be flexible and use commonsense when handling sexual assault cases.
Officers should aim to do all they reasonably can to help the victim, report all cases promptly
to Consular Operations, and seek approval for any special help the victim may need.
4.15 General principles
Sexual assaults are a sensitive issue and may attract media interest in the country of the
assault and in Australia. Consular officers should exercise flexibility in handling cases,
including seeking the Department’s approval for special assistance for the victim.
All victims should be believed and supported accordingly. A victim’s account may not always
appear believable. This could be because the crisis and shock resulting from the assault has
caused the victim to be confused. In addition, given the consular officer’s knowledge and
experience of the country, the victim’s behaviour may appear to have been foolish or
dangerous. It is not, however, the consular officer’s role to judge or investigate. Determining
the validity of a complaint is the local authorities’ responsibility. Even when the local police
are unsympathetic, it is not a post’s role to try and ascertain the truth or otherwise of an
allegation of sexual assault.
The majority of sexual assault victims will be female. If at all possible, a female A-based
officer should be present if a male consular officer is interviewing the victim of a sexual
assault. This will help the victim feel more at ease.
If the sexual assault victim does not speak English, a female interpreter should be obtained,
if possible. If legal proceedings eventuate, it should be confirmed whether the court will
provide an interpreter for the victim. If not, the post should contact Consular Operations for
guidance.
If a post is in a country with well developed sexual assault counselling services, a referral to
them may be useful to the victim. It is the responsibility of posts to be aware of the referral
process for organisations providing:
        specialist counselling
        accommodation/shelters
        material aid, such as clothes.
In this regard, posts should be fully conversant with local Red Cross/Green Crescent
organisations.
Posts should take special care when giving victims information that they may need in order
to decide whether to report an assault. Consular officers should be careful not to provide
legal advice. Rather, they should provide victims with a list of local lawyers able to advise on
legal implications of an assault. Victims may find this advice helpful in deciding whether or
not to report the assault. Consular officers should give the victim time to think about a course
of action. When they indicate a choice, check that they understand the implications. This is
extremely important. In some countries, reporting assaults may be fraught with difficulties
and may even be dangerous for the victim. If available, counselling options should be given.
It is not necessary to hear all the details of the incident because:
        the victim will have to repeat the story to the police (if reporting it) and the fewer
           times they have to recount the details, the less traumatising the experience
        consular officers may have to provide affidavits and become involved in the legal
           proceedings if they are the first to hear the full details.
The following guide to the rights and needs of a rape victim have been supplied by the
Canberra Rape Crisis Centre to assist consular officers in dealing with such cases.
4.16       Rights and needs of a person who has been sexually assaulted
           to be believed
           to be told it is not their fault
           to be listened to
           no why’\ questions
           safety and privacy
           a non-judgmental attitude
           understanding of their trauma
           to be in control of what’s happening
           an opportunity to talk at their own pace
           information
           their experience validated as significant
           encouragement to accept help and support.

4.17 Guidelines for aiding victims of sexual assault
Safety
The safety of a victim is the primary concern. It is important to ensure that the victim:
      has somewhere to stay where they will be safe
      is able to obtain clothing or money if required
      is able to contact their family or friends if desired
      is able to make arrangements to travel home straight away if desired.
Police investigations
Although a victim should make the decision on reporting the incident to the police, consular
officers must be aware of local conditions and, while avoiding providing legal advice,
communicate these to victims, including whether:
        reporting to the local police is in itself an unsafe act
        local police will only take an interest in a sexual assault case from a non-national if
         the victim is accompanied by the consul
        it would be unwise for the victim to attend the local police station alone
        reporting to the police is essential prior to the victim presenting themselves for a
         medical. The police may have a designated medical doctor who must undertake
         any examinations if they are to be valid in legal proceedings.
Medical assistance
Consular officers need to be aware of local medical information for victims of sexual assault,
including:
       names of English-speaking doctors
       requirements for forensic medicals, such as who orders them and who is authorised
         to undertake them.
Legal representation
Posts should keep and maintain a list of suitable English-speaking lawyers to help victims of
sexual assault, along with an estimate of their fees. They will also need to be aware of local
conditions in relation to the prosecution of sexual assault cases, such as whether the local
authorities bring the charges or whether the victim is expected to do so.
Limits of consular assistance
Posts should take care to explain the extent to which they can support the victim. Posts can:
      provide support and escort the victim to the police authorities
      provide a list of doctors
      provide a list of lawyers
      assist the victim by contacting relatives/friends
      contact counselling services
         provide a Traveller’s Emergency Loan
         advise on alternative and secure accommodation, if required
         keep them informed of legal proceedings if the case goes to court
         provide extra assistance on approval from Consular Operations.
Counselling assistance
Consular officers need to be aware of the availability of specialist services for dealing with
victims of sexual assault. In some countries, specialist services will undertake a support and
advocacy role with the victim.
If there are no specialist services available, posts should be aware of any local alternative
counselling services. Arrangements can be made via Canberra desk officers or the Consular
Emergency Centre to use the services of an Australian counselling service.
The following telephone numbers are for sexual assault centres in Australia. The relevant
number should be given to victims for contact when/if they return home.
ACT
Rape Crisis Centre (24 Hour) 61 2 6247 2525
Office hours 61 2 6247 8071
New South Wales
Freecall 1 800 424 017
Sydney Rape Crisis Centre 61 2 9819 6565
Northern Territory
Ruby Gaea Centre against Rape, 61 8 89450155
Darwin (24 hours) 61.8.89227156
Queensland
Freecall 1800 010120
Brisbane Rape and Incest Support Centre 61 7 3391 0004
Tasmania
Sexual Assault Support Service
24 hour south and east Tasmania 61 3 6231 1811
24 hour northern Tasmania 61 3 6334 2740
24 hour north west Tasmania 61 3 6431 9711
Victoria
CASA House (24 hour) 1 800 806 292
CASA Melbourne city 61 3 9344 2210
Western Australia
Freecall 1 800 199 888
Sexual Assault Referral 61 8 9340 1828

4.18 Forced marriages
In many countries arranged marriages have wide cultural acceptance. Australians overseas
may find themselves forced into arranged marriages against their will, and may seek
consular assistance.
When the consular officer is satisfied that the client has a genuine objection to the marriage,
they should offer consular assistance. A cabled report should be sent to Consular
Operations highlighting any particular issues, including whether the client has expressed a
wish to return to Australia.
When passport issues are involved, consular officers should follow the instructions in the
Manual of Australian Passport Issue, and take particular care when issuing a passport to a
minor.
4.19 Wrongful removal of persons from Australia
If a consular officer believes a person may have been wrongfully removed from Australia,
they should immediately bring this to the attention of the Assistant Secretary, Consular
Operations Branch, so the matter can be taken up with the Department of Immigration and
Citizenship.

4.20     Relief and repatriation
When requests for relief and repatriation are received from sole parents supporting children
abroad, the cases should be treated in accordance with Chapter 15 (Repatriation) and
Chapter 12 (Provision of financial assistance) of this handbook.

Chapter 5: Registration of Australians overseas
5.1    Reasons for registration
5.2    General principles
5.3    Sample notice to Australians overseas
5.4    Method of registration
5.5    Sample registration form
5.6    Who can register?
5.7    Change of address
5.8    Amendment of registrations
5.9    Removal of names from register

5.1    Reasons for registration
The primary object of registering Australians overseas is to facilitate contact for consular
purposes. Registering details with the Department is a Smartraveller campaign. All posts are
encouraged to actively pursue registration of travellers in their countries of responsibility.
However, in high risk countries where posts are most likely to need to contact Australians in
an emergency situation, this is particularly important.

5.2      General principles
Registration information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and must not be passed to any
person or body other than the Department. Posts should, however, be aware that agencies
such as the Australian Taxation Office have the power under the Act on occasions to
examine the register. While a warning to a person registering is not necessary under the Act,
if an examination is to be undertaken (very rare), it should be cleared by Consular Branch.
Chapter 2 gives details on Privacy Act requirements.
Australians who wish to be registered must be given the opportunity to do so.
Posts should draft letters and local notices with care to ensure they do not alarm the people
they are inviting to register.
5.3    Sample notice to Australians overseas
                           NOTICE TO AUSTRALIANS OVERSEAS
PURPOSE OF REGISTRATION
A register of Australians overseas is maintained at this post solely for use in relation to
consular activities eg. to facilitate contact in an emergency. The information in the Register is
protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and can only be divulged under the provisions of that Act.
PROTECTION OF AUSTRALIANS
When travellers enter a foreign state, they become subject to its laws and are legally
accountable for acts they commit on its territory. In the event of Australians finding
themselves in difficulty, consular officers seek to ensure that they receive the benefit of the
same laws, administration, protection and means of redress for injuries which the foreign
state affords its own subjects. In the event that the law applied in a particular instance falls
below an acceptable international standard of justice, official representation could be made.
EMERGENCY SITUATIONS
The Australian Government, through its consular officers, endeavours to provide assistance
when danger exists due to civil unrest, war, etc., when it is considered necessary and where
it can be arranged. This does not diminish the obligation of Australian travellers to keep
themselves informed on any situation in the country likely to affect their safety.
CHANGE IN DETAILS
In order for consular officers to provide appropriate assistance to Australian citizens in the
event of an emergency, it is necessary for those registered to ensure that their contact and
other registered details are current.

5.4    Method of registration
The Department has introduced online registration of Australians overseas in a secure online
form. The registration site can be accessed at http://www.smartraveller.gov.au - select
'Register with us' - and includes a Registration FAQ. Online registration of Australians
overseas is a component of the Consular Management Information System (CMIS) and
allows posts to view the registration data relevant to them on the local version of the
database.
Online registration of Australians overseas supersedes manual registration. Nevertheless,
for Australians who cannot register online, posts should maintain manual registration
procedures to allowing input of registrations into the online registration of Australians
overseas database. A sample of the registration card is at 5.5
Posts are recommended to monitor and update the database. Ensuring that information is
complete and accurate facilitates communication with Australians overseas in the event of a
crisis or other event requiring a mass mail-out.

5.5     Sample registration form
Title:(eg. Mr / Mrs / Miss / Dr)

Gender: M / F

Family Name:

Given Names:

Date of Birth:

Place of Birth:
Passport Number:                         Date of Issue:

                                         Place of Issue:

Do you have overseas Travel Insurance:
Y/N

                                         Company Name:

                                         Phone Number:

Countries being visited

Country:

Arriving:

Departing:

Address:




City:

State:

Phone No:

Mobile No:

E-Mail:


Family members accompanying you

Family       Given names         M/F     Relationship     Date of birth   Passport
name                                                                      number




Person to be notified in case of emergency
Family name:
Given names:

Relationship:

Address:

City
State

Phone number: ( )
E-mail address:



Please return by mail to:
Travel Registrations
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Consular Branch
Canberra ACT 0221


5.6     Who can register?
Only Australian citizens and their dependants, who may hold citizenship of another country,
or long-term permanent residents of Australia who are temporarily outside Australia may
register.
Australians with dual nationality may register, whether or not they are in, or visiting the
country of their second nationality.
Posts should register all members of a family together, but should continue to note any
member who is not Australian. Any additional nationalities should also be shown, particularly
when one is the nationality of the country of residence.
Australians should be registered in the consular district where they reside, but if some other
consular office is more easily accessible and they do not have access to the Internet, they
may as an exceptional measure, manually register there. The online registration of
Australians overseas will automatically update to inform Canberra and the consular office
within whose district they actually reside.
A Notice to Australians Overseas should be given to all Australians who register (5.3).

5.7      Change of address
Posts should keep registration details up-to-date and ensure there are appropriate
processes for checking the accuracy of registrations. Posts should suggest to intending long-
term residents that they confirm their registration annually via the online registration system,
including any subsequent change of address.

5.8     Amendment of registrations
Posts may propose an amendment to the date of departure of any entry in the online
registration database if they are satisfied that the person concerned has ceased to be an
Australian, has died, or left the country.
5.9     Removal of names from register
Posts may propose removing any name from the online registration database if they are
satisfied that the person concerned was never an Australian citizen or permanent resident of
Australia, or never visited the country.
No Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia who has registered and visited the
country for which they registered should ever have their entry removed unless it is replaced
with a more accurate registration.

Chapter 6: Arrest, detention and imprisonment
6.1    Consular role in relation to Australians arrested or detained overseas
6.2    The Vienna Convention and access to detained persons
6.3    Representations on behalf of prisoners
6.4    Reporting arrests
6.5    Sample letter to detained person
6.6    Cancelling a passport
6.7    Assistance to arrested or detained persons
6.8    Assistance to persons under investigation but not detained
6.9    Arrest, detention or imprisonment of a minor
6.10   Special Circumstances (Overseas) Scheme
6.11   General information on the Special Circumstances (Overseas) Scheme
6.12   Advice to the nominated contact
6.13   Sample letter to the nominated contact of detained person
6.14   Arrest and detention checklist
6.15   Attendance in court
6.16   Conduct of trials
6.17   Reporting trial results
6.18   Prisoner transfer
6.19   Welfare of prisoners
6.20   Visits to prisoners
6.21   Arrestee/prisoner visit report
6.22   Transfer of funds for prisoners and financial assistance to prisoners
6.23   Prisoner health
6.24   Media enquiries about arrests
6.25   Pre-release counselling
6.26   Services offered by prisoners’ aid organisations
6.27   Advice to the Department of impending release of prisoner
Appendix 6A: Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners
6.1     Consular role in relation to Australians arrested or detained overseas
The terms arrested or detained apply to any Australian arrested and/or being held for
investigation, whether charges have been laid or not, or confined to prison.
The arrest or detention of Australians overseas gives rise to more complex issues in
consular protection. People arrested or detained require sensitive and well-considered
assistance, possibly over an extended period. Sound guidance and policy direction may be
required in handling bilateral relations in these cases. The nature of the crime committed or
the long-term nature of detention may attract media and parliamentary interest in Australia,
calling for careful and considered responses by Government and the Department.
Consular protection in the case of arrested, detained or imprisoned people means ensuring,
as far as possible that:
       Australians arrested, detained or imprisoned overseas are able to see an Australian
         consular officer and receive consular assistance
       Australians overseas who are charged with offences against local law or otherwise
         punished have access to appropriate legal defence and receive a fair trial under
         local law
       Australians imprisoned overseas are treated no less favourably than local citizens
        confined for similar offences
       the basic needs of Australian prisoners are met and the prisoners enjoy
        humanitarian standards of prisoner welfare.

6.2   The Vienna Convention and access to detained persons
Consular officers should familiarise themselves with Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on
Consular Relations (Chapter 2).
The Convention specifies the consular officer’s right to visit, converse and correspond with,
and arrange legal representation for nationals in prison. This right is in Article 36 of the
Convention. In accordance with the Privacy Act, a consul must not, however, take action on
behalf of a prisoner if the prisoner opposes it.
The Convention also obliges the authorities of a state to inform the consular post without
delay if they have detained one of its nationals and the detained person requests it, and to
forward any communication from a detained person to that person’s consul. The authorities
must, furthermore, inform the detainee of these rights.
The Australian Government takes a serious view of any denial of rights to consular access.
Posts should report any denial promptly to the Department. The report should be sufficiently
detailed to enable the Department to take up the case immediately, either with the state’s
diplomatic representation in Canberra or with the foreign ministry of a state not represented
in Australia.
Countries which have ratified or acceded to the Convention are listed in Chapter 2.
The rights of prisoners are further reinforced by the United Nations declaration on the human
rights of persons who are not nationals of the country in which they live, which provides that
‘any alien shall be free at any time to communicate with the consulate or diplomatic mission
of the State of which he is a national’. (UNGA Resolution 40/144, Article 10)
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also makes specific provisions
relating to persons arrested or detained, in the following terms:
       Article 9(3): ‘Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought
       promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power
       and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release...’
      Article 9(4): ‘Anyone who is deprived of liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to
      take proceedings before a court...’
      Article 10: ‘All persons deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and with
      respect for the inherent dignity of the human person...’
      Article 14: ‘All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals...’
      Article 14(3C): ‘In the determination of any criminal charge against him everybody shall
      be entitled … (c) to be tried without undue delay … (f) to have the free assistance of
      an interpreter...’
      Article 14(7): ’No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for
      which he has finally been convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law of penal
      procedure of any country’.

6.3    Representations on behalf of prisoners
Normally the Australian Government does not make formal representations on behalf of
prisoners, except in the case of Government-supported pardon applications detailed below.
Less serious matters involving the welfare of an Australian in gaol can often be resolved in
the first instance by the prisoner themselves or, if this fails, by informal representations by
the consular officer to the gaol authorities. The success of these representations depend
largely on the consular officer’s relationship with those authorities. These representations
are informal and must remain so. If formal representations are proposed, the Department
must be consulted beforehand.
When prisoners seek to move from one prison to another because of poor conditions and
consular officers have satisfied themselves that a move could assist the welfare of the
prisoner, the officer may recommend that the Department make these representations to the
local authorities.
Before making representations to local authorities at the request of a prisoner, consular
officers should satisfy themselves, to the extent practicable, that the prisoner has discussed
the relevant issues with their legal adviser.
The Australian Government may initiate or support an application for pardon lodged on
behalf of Australian prisoners in overseas gaols when local law and practice allow, and when
the prisoner has served a sentence equivalent to the sentence that would have been served
had the offence been committed in Australia, less one year. The purpose behind the one-
year reduction for timing of pardon applications is to provide a reasonable amount of time for
processing the pardon application through the local bureaucracy.
Posts that are asked by prisoners to initiate or support applications for pardon should
provide the Consular Operations Branch with details of the crime and sentence. The Branch
will determine, with independent advice when necessary, the length of sentence that would
have been served in Australia for the same or a similar crime. This advice will determine the
time when the Australian Government, through the relevant mission, may initiate or support
a request for a pardon, ie. one year before the prisoner will have served the number of years
that would have been served in Australia.
When there are special humanitarian considerations, the Australian Government may
support or initiate requests for pardon even if the prisoner has not yet served a sentence
equivalent to that in Australia.
Guidelines for initiating or supporting pardon applications on humanitarian grounds are that
there is:
       medical evidence of severe deterioration in the prisoner’s physical or mental health
       diagnosis of an incurable medical condition, with likelihood of severe deterioration in
          the near future.
These guidelines in are intended to be restrictive. Posts and/or prisoners should not expect
them to be loosely applied.
Fundamental principles for posts to bear in mind for applications for pardon are:
      local law and practice must permit Australian Government intervention in the
       pardons process
      it is for the prisoner to decide whether a pardon application will be submitted.
       Neither the Government nor the relevant Australian post should proceed without the
       full and explicit approval of the prisoner
      prisoners, or their agents, are responsible for preparing their applications. The
       willingness of the Government or post to submit, when appropriate, an application
       should not be taken to mean that preparation of the application will be undertaken
       by the post
      when an application is complete or close to finalisation, the post should prepare the
       covering papers. This might be a letter from the Head of Mission to the relevant
       authority, a third person note to the local Foreign Ministry, or a combination of forms
       of lodgement. The post should draft the covering letters/note and fax them to the
        Department for consideration by Consular Branch. When warranted, the Branch
        may contact the prisoner’s family in Australia to seek additional information or input
       when an application has been lodged, the post should, from time to time, make
        representations to the appropriate local authorities in support of the application. In
        compelling circumstances, consideration could also be given to making additional
        representations at ministerial level or in the context of bilateral officials talks. It
        should not, however, be assumed that these additional representations are the
        norm.

6.4      Reporting arrests
If the arrest or charge appears political or is intended to embarrass the Australian
Government, or it appears likely to necessitate later diplomatic representations, the consular
officer should immediately report the matter to the Head of Mission and the Department.
High-profile cases, for example those involving Ministerial contact or those receiving media
coverage, should initially be reported by Immediate cable. If the arrest takes place after
hours when cable access is not available, the post should alert the Consular Emergency
Centre immediately by telephone. Similarly, an immediate report should be made if the
person detained or charged appears likely to suffer bodily harm or prejudice to property.
If the charge relates to child sex tourism, transnational organised crime (eg. drug trafficking,
people smuggling, etc.), terrorism or corruption refer to Chapter 7 for additional guidance
and reporting requirements.
All arrests should be reported by Priority cable, (unless covered under Chapter 24) to
Assistant Secretary Consular Branch and Assistant Secretary, Passport Business
Improvement and Technology Branch, Australian Passports Office. All first reports should
contain the following information:
        full name, date and place of birth, and passport number of the arrested person
        date and place of arrest, full address of place of detention and advising authority.
          Indicate whether the arrested person can receive phone calls. If so, include the
          contact phone number
        nature of the charge/s and prescribed prison term for these crimes or offences in
          accordance with the local penal code
        date set for the hearing or, if no date set, indication of the likely delay
        date first consular visit did, or will, take place
        proposed frequency of future visits
        legal defence facilities available to the accused
        possibility of release on bail
        reason the arrested person was visiting the country and the date of their arrival in
          country of arrest
        whether the accused is able to finance arrangements for defence
        whether any medical problem may be involved
        the arrested person’s city of residence in Australia, name, address and relationship
          of nominated contact and whether that person is to be informed (also 6.12)
        date the arrest letter sent. The letter, based on the sample at
          165, should be handed to the detainee at the time of the first visit, or if this visit is
          delayed, should be despatched by as secure a means as possible
        location of the Australian passport, including whether it is held by local authorities.
          Please specify the authority that may be holding the passport, for example, courts
          or law enforcement authorities
       if the Australian passport is held by local authorities, is it considered to be in secure
        custody? If not, provide a further explanation to assist the centralised Competent
        Authority’s decision-making
       proposed date of next visit.

6.5    Sample letter to detained person
Dear [Honorific and surname]

Your arrest in………………………… has been brought to the attention of this
Embassy/Consulate

and I am writing to offer the Australian Government’s consular assistance.
Initially, with your approval, we are able to inform a person nominated by you of your present
circumstances. If you decide that you do not want me to inform anyone, I must ask that you
confirm this in writing. However, I should point out that if your arrest is made public by the
local authorities the Embassy/Consulate would normally be expected to confirm this public
knowledge.
Once the initial advice has been provided to the person nominated by you, it remains your
responsibility to keep them informed of the progress of your case, any funds and clothing
requirements as well as your general well-being.
Attached to this letter are details of the Australian Government’s consular function and the
assistance its consular officers can provide to you, including a list of local English speaking
lawyers. The Australian Government cannot accept any liability for the consequences of the
advice nor can it accept any responsibility for the probity, ability, or charges of the listed
lawyers.
I shall maintain contact with you and do whatever is possible to provide you with our full
range of consular services. Should you wish to contact me, and the local authorities allow it,
my telephone number is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . If I am not available,………………….. will be
able to assist.

Yours sincerely

Attachment to letter: The consular function is
       to ensure, so far as possible, that an arrested person receives the benefit of the
      same laws, administration and protection of rights and redress that are available to
      citizens of the country in which the arrest took place
       to the extent possible, to see that an arrested person receives the same facilities,
      including accommodation, diet and medical/dental treatment, that is generally
      afforded to citizens of the country in which the arrest took place
       to provide whatever assistance and advice (except legal advice) that can
      reasonably be given.
Local jurisdiction
Every country has the right to determine the law, administration, of rights and means of
redress for injuries that are to apply to citizens of that country. Where these are applied
equally to all, there is normally no ground for complaint or representation by the Australian
Government on behalf of an Australian citizen who is in conflict with the local law.
It is important to understand that any charge and trial will be in accordance with the local law
and if found guilty you will be required to serve your sentence in the country where the
offence was committed.
Local law
[Post to provide information - Give a limited outline of the local system on pre-trial detention,
bail, access to solicitors, remand procedures, trial and appeal procedures, international
transfer of prisoners scheme (if applicable) etc.]
Funds requirements
Should you require additional funds for clothing and sustenance, it is your responsibility to
seek these funds directly from your own sources using the normal banking system.
However, if local the banking system cannot be used, for whatever reason, the mission is
prepared to make official facilities available to transfer those funds. Also, if you are not
personally able to make contact with your sources, we can assist by contacting them on your
behalf. In that respect we will need full contact details including name, address and
telephone numbers.
Official facilities are not to be used for the transfer of legal fees, fines, bail monies etc.
Money for those requirements should be transferred direct to appropriate authorities.
Legal aid or court-appointed defenders
The Australian Government does not provide funds to cover the cost of arrested persons
defending charges brought against them overseas. Similarly, it does not provide funds to
cover the cost of translation or interpreter services. [Give a brief account of any local legal
aid arrangements or other defence facilities for destitute persons.]
List of local lawyers
[Give a list of lawyers obtained through the local law society or other impartial source-ensure
the list carries a suitable disclaimer.]
Special Circumstances (Overseas) Scheme – SCOS
The Government’s Special Circumstances (Overseas) Scheme, which is administered by the
Attorney-General, is available to assist Australians detained overseas to meet overseas
legal and related costs, provided their application meets the criteria under the Scheme.
Assistance is provided only in the most exceptional circumstances, including when the
Australian Government has a direct involvement in the matter, or the applicant is facing life
imprisonment or the death penalty. In the absence of special circumstances, the facts that
an Australian citizen is facing criminal prosecution or has been convicted and is facing a
prison sentence, has a lack of financial means, are not sufficient in themselves to justify the
provision of financial assistance. The availability of legal assistance in the overseas
jurisdiction will usually mean that an applicant is not eligible to receive financial assistance
under the Scheme. The Scheme is not intended for an applicant to hire a private lawyer in
place of an overseas court-appointed lawyer or public defender. The Scheme does not cover
domestic legal costs (ie. incurred in Australia). Details in applications for financial assistance
normally remain confidential. The Government usually neither confirms nor denies that
particular applications have been received or granted.
Passport cancellation and /or refusal in relation to serious foreign offences
You should be aware that under the Australian Passports Act 2005, your Australian passport
(or other Australian travel document) may be cancelled by the Minister for Foreign Affairs if
you are the subject of an arrest warrant issued in a foreign country for a serious foreign
offence, or if you are a person prevented by a law or court order of a foreign country
(including imprisonment) from travelling internationally in connection with a serious foreign
offence. A further Australian passport will not be issued to you pending the outcome of all
legal proceedings in the foreign country in relation to the serious offence(s). The cancellation
or refusal of your Australian passport in these circumstances, however, does not affect your
status as an Australian citizen or your rights to Australian consular assistance as explained
in this letter.
6.6     Cancelling a passport
In accordance with Section 13 of the Australian Passports Act 2005, when a person has
committed a serious foreign offence (see below), arrest reporting must include sufficient
information to assist the centralised authority (Executive Director Australian Passport Office,
Assistant Secretary Passport Business Improvement and Technology Branch), to make a
decision:
                    to not issue (ie. refuse) a passport under s13 of the Act
                     to cancel the detainee’s current passport, if this is considered necessary
          or appropriate, taking into account the security of any arrangements for custody of
          the passport by local police/court authorities, including the likely duration of custody
          (Manual of Australian Passport Issue 5.1.6.1)
          All passport cancellations and/or refusals in this category require a decision by the
          Minister. Passport Fraud Section, Canberra, decides whether the circumstances of
          the case meet the relevant criteria and, if so, will make a recommendation to the
          Minister on cancellation and/or refusal of the passport The Section will enter the
          appropriate Passport Issuing Control System alerts and communicate directly with
          the post on further assistance that may be required. A serious foreign offence is
          defined in the Australian Passports Act 2005 (Manual of Australian Passport IssueI
          6.13.3) as an offence against the law of a foreign country
                     for which the maximum penalty is death or imprisonment for a period of
          not less than 12 months
                     is specified in a Minister’s Determination as a serious foreign offence,
          including people smuggling, terrorism, assault, child sex tourism, drug trafficking
          and other drug-related offences
                     which if committed in Australia, would be an indictable offence under the
          Australian Passports Act (ie. any offence other than failure to report a lost/stolen
          travel document
                     when the conduct involved, even if it does not carry a penalty under the
          law of the country, is required under a treaty to which Australia and the country are
          parties to be classified as an offence for which the surrender of persons is allowed.
Refer to the Manual of Australian Passport Issue Chapter 6.5.4.13-16 for instructions on
requests for replacement passports when the valid travel document has been confiscated by
local authorities, or Chapter 5.2.1 when a passport has been lost, stolen or has expired.

6.7     Assistance to arrested or detained persons
The arrest or charging of an Australian overseas is a consular matter. Consular officers
should ensure that local authorities bring these cases to their attention promptly. To achieve
this, good relationships should be maintained with appropriate local officials, particularly
police.
When engaging in any consular activity, officers should meticulously avoid giving the
impression that they are prejudging the merits of a case or the treatment of the person
detained.
When consular officers learn of the arrest of an Australian they should attempt to visit the
client at the earliest opportunity. Even if posts are advised by an authoritative source that an
arrested or imprisoned Australian does not want a consular visit, they should make every
effort to make direct contact with the Australian to confirm those wishes and satisfy
themselves that the person is fully acquainted with consular services. Posts should not
consider an arrest letter as a substitute for an early visit.
If the arrest takes place in a country with no resident Australian mission, the post is
encouraged to make arrangements with other Commonwealth missions or consular sharing
partners for an initial visit and, when appropriate, a follow up prison visit. In the absence of
these arrangements, the post should explore the possibility of having a local representative
of a charitable or religious organisation make an initial visit.
When a prisoner elects not to receive consular visits, these wishes should, as far as
possible, be confirmed in writing and the prisoner advised that their request will need to be
reconfirmed each 12 months. Prisoners should also be made aware that they may request
consular visits to be resumed at any time.
A list of legal practitioners or firms willing to represent foreigners and showing specialities
should be prepared at each post for prisoners and other Australians who need this
information. The list cannot indicate any preference for one practitioner/firm over another
and consular officers must not give an oral or other indication of preference. The list should
be checked and updated at least annually. All lists must contain a disclaimer that neither the
post nor the Australian Government accepts any responsibility for the ability or probity of the
practitioners on the list or the fees they might charge.

6.8     Assistance to persons under investigation but not detained
When Australians have been released on bail or are under investigation but not detained,
posts should continue to seek regular updates on their welfare, including monitoring their
legal proceedings.

6.9     Arrest, detention or imprisonment of a minor
The arrest and detention of a minor (an Australian under 18 years of age) will likely require
an additional level of consular assistance. Cases involving the detention of a minor should
be reported as Category 1. Particular issues that consular officers will need to take into
consideration include:
                     close monitoring of the minor’s health and well-being, including
         conducting, when possible, weekly visits (at least until the minor is sentenced and
         settled into prison routines)
                     close liaison and support to parents/family members of a minor when
         they are visiting the country of detention
                     familiarity with local legal processes in relation to minors, for example
         the likelihood of the minor being tried as an adult. In the event that the minor will be
         tried as an adult, for example due to the seriousness of an offence, posts should
         cable details to Consular Operations as soon as possible. Consular Operations may
         seek legal advice on whether representation on this issue would be appropriate
                     ensuring whenever possible that minors in pre and post trial detention
         are kept separate from adults, in accordance with the standard minimum rules for
         the treatment of prisoners (Appendix 6A)
                    if necessary, act as a liaison point between the minor and an
          educational institution and/or child welfare agency in Australia.
These guidelines are not intended to be prescriptive. Additional guidance should be sought
from the Head of Mission/Head of Post or Canberra on managing difficult or complex cases.

6.10 Special Circumstances (Overseas) Scheme
The Government’s Special Circumstances (Overseas) Scheme, administered by the
Attorney-General’s Department, is available to assist Australians detained overseas in
meeting overseas legal and related costs, provided their application meets the scheme’s
criteria.
Assistance is provided only in exceptional circumstances, including when the Australian
Government has a direct involvement in the matter, or the applicant is facing life
imprisonment or the death penalty. The final decision on approving an application for
assistance lies with the Department of the Attorney-General.
In the absence of special circumstances, an Australian citizen who is facing criminal
prosecution or has been convicted and is facing a prison sentence but has a lack of financial
means, are not sufficient in themselves to justify financial assistance.
Availability of legal assistance in the overseas jurisdiction will usually mean that an applicant
is not eligible to receive financial assistance under the scheme. The scheme is not intended
to enable an applicant to hire a private lawyer in place of an overseas court-appointed
lawyer or public defender. The scheme does not cover legal costs incurred in Australia.
Details on applications for financial assistance normally remain confidential. The
Government usually neither confirms nor denies that particular applications have been
received or granted. General information about the scheme and how to apply are in 6.11.

6.11 General information on the Special Circumstances (Overseas) Scheme
Information required for criminal proceedings:
   1. The applicant is to complete the application form to the extent relevant to overseas
      proceedings. The form is on the Department of the Attorney General’s website at:
      http://www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/agd.nsf/Page/Legalaid_SpecialCircumstances
      (Overseas)Program
   2. There are two bases upon which application for assistance may be made – moral
      obligation and/or compassionate grounds:
      The applicant should set out any matters considered to constitute special
      circumstances that lead to the conclusion there is a moral obligation on the
      Commonwealth to meet the legal costs (paragraph (a) of the Guidelines), and/or
   3. Address the four considerations in paragraph (b) of the guidelines, relevant to
      determining whether there are compassionate grounds for granting assistance. In
      particular, the applicant should provide details of:
       the background to the case, including when the applicant travelled to the overseas
          country, the purpose for travelling, and the circumstances leading to their arrest and
          being taken into custody
       the nature of the charge or charges the applicant faces, and the sentencing options if
          they plead or are found guilty
       the applicant’s proposed legal representation in the overseas country, including the
          names and role of each person proposed to assist the applicant (for example, one
          solicitor and one barrister/advocate) and, if the legal team comprises more than two
          people, a justification for the team’s size
       an estimate of the costs of the proceedings, including:
          the hourly fee for each member of the legal team and estimated number of billable
          hours for each team member for each broad stage of the matter (eg. preparation for
          trial, and trial)
          estimates of other significant costs (eg. witness costs and translation costs)
          an estimate of costs incurred prior to the application
          the applicant’s financial means (as per the application form)
          the applicant’s eligibility to apply for legal aid in the overseas country
          the applicant’s connection with Australia (citizenship/permanent residence etc).
Information provided to the Attorney-General’s Department is treated in confidence.

Limits of scheme
Generally, a grant of financial assistance under the scheme will not cover costs incurred
prior to the Department receiving a request for assistance.
A grant of financial assistance will not extend to cover other related costs, such as:
      domestic legal costs
         travel and living costs for the applicant or the applicant’s family
         medical costs.

Recovery of costs
If, during the course or after the proceedings, the applicant or the applicant’s family benefit
financially as a consequence of the proceedings (eg. by selling the story to the media), the
applicant or the applicant’s family (as the case may be) will be required to reimburse the
Commonwealth from those monies to the extent to which it has paid the applicant’s legal
costs.

6.12 Advice to the nominated contact
In the context of consular work, the Department uses the term nominated contact to identify
a person who has been nominated by the consular client as the contact point for passing on
information about their predicament. In most cases, the nominated contact is a relative of the
client, but the client may nominate others as their nominated contact, for example lawyers,
doctors or friends.
Except in exceptional circumstances, the Department will only accept one nominated
contact. When a client requests more than one person be contacted, they should be asked
to detail the reasons and be advised that the ability to accede to their request will be
determined by Consular Operations.
Australians under arrest should be asked whether they wish the Department to inform their
nominated contact, and must be asked to confirm their wishes in writing. If they wish the
nominated contact to be informed, the post should inform the Department. The Department
will pass on the message, initially by telephone if practicable, and will follow up this advice
with a letter along the lines of the sample in 6.13. If the nominated contact is at post, the
consular officer should consult with Consular Operations on the dispatch of the arrest letter.
If the prisoner does not wish their nominated contact informed, the officer must attempt to
obtain confirmation of this in writing and then submit a written report to the Department. The
prisoner should be advised that even though they may not consent to the release of any
information, it is not unusual for information about their predicament to reach the media or
relatives through other sources. In these circumstances, the Department may, if asked,
confirm details already in the public domain and may, if appropriate, correct any inaccuracies
in existing reports. The prisoner should also be made aware of the contents of .

6.13                 Sample letter to the nominated contact of detained person

Dear ……………………..

I am writing to confirm the information you were given on the telephone about your
………….‘s arrest, and to describe to you our role in cases like this.

We were advised by our . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . that . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . had been arrested on . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
..

You will appreciate that an Australian, or any other person in a foreign country, is
responsible to that country for any acts that person commits on its territory. An Australian is
thus bound by that country’s laws in the same manner and to the same extent as a resident
of the country.
Although there may sometimes seem to be lengthy delays between arrest and trial,
Australians arrested in other countries are subject to the procedures of those countries and
we have no standing to comment on them or to attempt to influence those procedures in any
way.
In broad terms, when an Australian is arrested overseas the Department’s major objectives
are:
               (a) to ensure so far as it is possible that the person receives the benefit of
                   the same laws, administration, protection of rights and means of redress
                   for injuries which a foreign country affords its own citizens (provided
                   these conditions are met there are normally no grounds for complaint or
                   representation by the Australian Government on behalf of the person
                   who has been detained for an alleged offence)
                (b) to do everything possible to see the person has access to available
                    facilities and to see that physical needs are met
                (c) to provide normal consular assistance to the prisoner and the prisoner’s
                    family in Australia.

More specifically, our consular officers overseas visit Australians as soon as possible after
learning of their arrest. Subject to the wishes of prisoners, consuls will:
                 (d) assist them to arrange legal representation by providing a list of local
                      English-speaking lawyers and advice on the availability or otherwise of
                      legal aid or a public defender
                (e) liaise with prison administrations about any problems which the arrested
                    person may have
                (f)   arrange for notification of a nominated contact unless the prisoners do
                      not want anyone told
                (g) attend hearings and trials if possible
                (h) relay requests for financial assistance to families or persons nominated
                    by prisoners
                (i)   arrange for transfer of funds from Australia
                (j)   visit the prisoners to monitor their physical and mental condition and
                      general welfare (it is however the prisoner’s responsibility to keep family
                      or contacts informed of their needs and situation)
                (k) report on prisoners’ welfare and legal proceedings to the Department
                (l)   provide moral support to prisoners
                (m) keep the Department informed about foreign judicial and prison
                    systems.
There are of course limits imposed by international and local law and by Australian
government policy on the lengths to which our consular officers can go in assisting
Australian citizens in prison. They cannot, for example, attempt to intervene in the judicial
systems of other countries; take responsibility for the honesty, competence or payment of
any legal representatives Australian prisoners engage; or arrange or pay for interpreters.
Consular officers in Australia and overseas are dedicated to doing their utmost, within the
limits imposed on them, to care for their fellow citizens imprisoned abroad, and to helping
prisoners’ friends and relatives in Australia with information and practical advice.
Should an emergency arise out of working hours you may contact the Department’s
Consular Duty Officer by ringing 1 300 555 135. This Duty Officer is able to contact all
overseas consular officers at any time and if urgent action is required the duty officer will
take it.
If you have any further questions, or there is anything unclear to you in this letter, please
write or contact me on Canberra (02) 62. . . . . . . . and I will be glad to help you during
normal working hours.
We shall contact you again as soon as any further information comes in.

Yours sincerely,


6.14 Arrest and detention checklist
Non-CMIS posts must keep records of all arrests and the assistance given in the form of the
checklist.
Personal details

Surname                      ………………………………………………………………………………
Given names                  ………………………………………………………………………………
Place of birth               ………………………………………………………………………………
Date of birth                ………………………………………………………………………………
Sex                          ………………………………………………………………………………
Address                      ………………………………………………………………………………
Passport No.                 ………………………………………………………………………………
Location of Passport         ………………………………………………………………………………
Place of issue               ………………………………………………………………………………
Date of issue                ………………………………………………………………………………
Nominated contact            ………………………………………………………………………………
Name                         ………………………………………………………………………………
Relationship                 ………………………………………………………………………………
Address                      ………………………………………………………………………………
Telephone no                 ………………………………………………………………………………
Details of arrest

Date post learned of arrest . . . ./. . . ./. . . .

By whom informed…………………………………………………………………………….

Actual date of arrest. . . ./. . . ./. . . .

Reason for detention………………………………………………………………………….

Place of detention……………………………………………………...................................

Distance from post…………………………………………………………………………….

Address for mail……………………………………………………………………………….

Date Dept informed of arrest. . . ./. . . ./. . . .
Has detainee requested consular assistance?                           Yes / No


If Yes (a) Date of request. . . ./. . . ./. . . .

        (b) How was the post informed of request?

        (c) Date consular access applied for. . . ./. . . ./. . . .

        (d) Date access granted. . . ./. . . ./. . . .


    If No            Has access been sought from local authorities?              Yes / No


    If Yes           (a) Date of application. . . ./. . . ./. . . .

                     (b) Date access granted. . . ./. . . ./. . .


    Did detainee agree to accept consular assistance?                            Yes / No


    If access refused by local authorities state
    reason…………………………………………………………………………………...


First consular visit to detainee
Does detainee wish nominated contact to be informed? Yes / No

Has this been confirmed in writing? Yes / No

Has detainee been briefed on their rights under local law? Yes / No

Has detainee been provided with a list of local lawyers for defence purposes?
Yes / No

Has detainee been advised to instruct their lawyer to communicate with their nominated
contact? Yes / No

Physical condition and morale of the detainee……………………………………………..

If detainee alleges physical abuse provide details…………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Does the detainee have any recurring medical problems requiring regular attention? (Give
details)………………………………………………………………………………………….

Are adequate medical facilities available in detention centre? Yes / No

If No-what arrangements can be made to ensure detainee receives proper medical
attention?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Does the detainee require financial assistance for paying legal costs and for providing for
supplementary needs in prison? Yes / No

            If Yes         (a) Estimated legal costs……………………………………………

                           (b) Estimated monthly costs of providing for supplementary needs in
                           prison, including food and medical
                           costs……………………………..……………………………………...

                           (c) What arrangements can be made for transfer of funds to the
                           detainee?……………………………………………………………….

Has inventory of personal effects been drawn up by local authorities? Yes / No

Have enquiries been made with the local authorities concerning property belonging to the
detainee? Yes / No

Physical condition of the place of detention………………………………………………

Is detainee kept separately from local prisoners? Yes / No

If Yes-Why?……………………………………………………………………………………

Date report of first consular visit sent to Department . . . . /. . . . /. . . .

COMMITTAL PROCEEDINGS
Name and address of counsel retained by detainee………………………………………

Date detainee charged and committed for trial . . . . /. . . . /. . . .

Formal charge………………………………………………………………………………….

Defence plea…………………………………………………………………………………...

Was consular officer present at court proceedings? Yes / No

If no-why not?…………………………………………………………………………………

Bail was applied for Yes / No

Bail granted/refused

Date set for trial . . . ./. . . ./. . . .

Date Department informed . . . ./. . . ./. . . .

If there are delays in the detainee being charged and committed for trial, are these delays
‘reasonable’ and consistent with local standards of judicial practice? Yes / No

Is the detainee being discriminated against as a foreigner? Yes / No

Delays in committal proceedings should be recorded in the format below:
      Date set for               Postponement           Reason for postponement   Date
      hearing                    until                  or delay                  Department
                                                                                  informed




TRIAL
Date of first court sitting . . . . /. . . . /. . . .

Date trial concluded . . . . /. . . . /. . . .

Decision of court……………………………………………………………………………….

Length of sentence……………………………………………………………………………

Prison where sentence to be served………………………………………………………..

Address for mail……………………………………………………………………………….

Was consular officer present at trial? Yes / No

Date Department informed of outcome of trial . . . . /. . . . /. . . .

Was there any evidence that the detainee’s alien status worked to their detriment at their
trial?……………………………………………………………………………………..

Was the sentence equivalent to the sentence a local citizen would have received for the
same or a similar offence?………………………………………………………………

Delays and postponements should be recorded in the format below:

Date set           ……/……./…….

Postponed to: …../…../…..

Reason for postponement or delay ………………………………………………………

Date …../…../…..

for hearing         until    …../……/…..

Department informed: …../…../…..

OFFICIAL ACTION
Record all matters affecting the detainee raised with local authorities in the following format:

      Date set              Rank & position of            Subject            Date Department
                            official                                         informed
On instruction from the Department diplomatic representations were made as follows:

     Date set            Lodged with:                Subject             Date Department
                                                                         informed




APPEALS
Date appeal lodged . . . . /. . . . /. . . .

Court where lodged………………………………………………………………………….

Date appeal heard . . . . /. . . . /. . . .

Court decision…………………………………………………………………………………

Date Department informed . . . . /. . . . /. . . .

Delays and postponements should be recorded in the format below:

     Date set for              Postponemen      Reason for               Date Department
     hearing                   t until          postponement or delay    informed




OTHER
Record follow up action in the following format:

     Date                   Follow up action                            Date Department
                                                                        informed




Be sure to record details of any other enquiries from the Department and reports made in
response

6.15 Attendance in court
Normally, consular officers should try to be present in court when an Australian citizen is
charged with a criminal offence. If the trial is being conducted in accordance with local
practice, but is likely to be drawn out, they should not feel obliged to attend all sessions.
It would not normally be appropriate for consular officers to appear in court as witnesses.
When in doubt, officers should consult the Department.
While attendance of a consul in court should not aim to influence the decision of the court, it
does serve to remind the prisoner, the prisoner’s lawyer, and the judiciary of the Australian
Government’s interest in the case.
A brief report on the outcome of the hearing should be sent to the Department as early as
possible. In high profile cases this should be phoned to the Consular Emergency Centre.

6.16 Conduct of trials
In the conduct of the trial, the Government wants to ensure that a prisoner is legally
represented and has access to an interpreter. Normally the essentials of a fair trial consist of
the following elements:
       the accused person must be aware of the specific charges
       the accused must be given adequate time to prepare a case and be afforded the
          opportunity of summoning witnesses in defence
       the accused must be given the opportunity to know the substance and source of
          any evidence, and be given the opportunity of probing the evidence by cross
          examination
       the accused must be afforded the right of being defended by a lawyer of their
          choice
       the trial should be held before an impartial tribunal
       an Australian representative should be able to attend the judicial proceedings
       the accused must be able to understand the proceedings and have access to an
          interpreter if necessary.

6.17 Reporting trial results
Posts must notify Consular Operations without delay of the results of trials, and update case
specifics in CMIS.
Reports should contain at least the following information:
                  full name of the accused
                  reference to the previous advice of arrest
                  departmental file number, when known
                  list of charges heard and the trial verdict on each charge
                  sentence passed in respect of each guilty verdict, indicating whether
                   gaol sentences are to be served concurrently
                  expected date of release
                  any indication available (specify source) of parole date
                  whether an appeal is contemplated or has been lodged;
                  note of anything that the accused has specifically requested not be
                   passed to the nominated contact.
When an Australian is sentenced to a period of imprisonment of 12 months or more, the post
is to advise Passport Fraud Section, Canberra, which will consider whether to cancel their
passport. When a lesser offence is involved, the Passport Fraud Section may consider
authorising a replacement passport, subject to the local authority being given a period of
notice of the proposed issue by the post and certain other conditions (Manual of Australian
Passport Issue6.5.4 14-16).

6.18 Prisoner transfer
The Attorney-General’s Department is responsible for policy and management of the
International Transfer of Prisoners Scheme. The scheme is available, subject to eligibility
requirements, to Australians held in Thailand, through a bilateral agreement, and in 65
countries which are parties to the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of
Sentenced Persons. Detailed information on the scheme is on the Attorney-General’s
Department website, http://www.ag.gov.au/ITP and in the link International Prisoner Transfer
Scheme from the Law and Justice section on the home page.
It is important to note that the scheme is consent-based and requires the agreement of the
Minister for Justice and for Customs, the Minister or Attorney-General of the Australian state
to which the prisoner is seeking to transfer, and the authorities of the sentencing country, as
well as consent of the prisoner.
Consular officers are to be closely involved whenever the prisoner or the Attorney-General’s
Department seek assistance with the transfer. The level of involvement will vary from one
post to another and may depend on a number of factors, including expectations of host
government authorities that diplomatic missions be involved directly, and cultural or
language barriers.
Consular officers may be required to assist prisoners, their families or legal representatives
in obtaining basic information about the scheme, including application forms. Information and
forms are available through the Attorney-General’s Department website, or by contacting the
Assistant Secretary, National Law Enforcement Policy Branch, Attorney-General’s
Department.
While consular officers should provide assistance with basic information and eligibility
requirements, requests for information that cannot be met by the website should be referred
to Attorney-General’s Department.
For the Attorney-General’s Department to process an application for transfer, certain
information must be obtained from the relevant authorities in the sentencing country.
Consular officers may be requested to assist in obtaining this information. The required
information includes:
       details of the offence, conviction and sentence, including court reports and judge’s
         remarks on sentencing (when available)
       reports on the applicant’s imprisonment, including details of security classification,
         issues in management of the prisoner, behavioural and educational courses
         undertaken (when available)
       reports on the prisoner’s medical status (if requested by the Attorney-General’s
         Department).
When documents are not in English, consular officers should provide advice and assistance
to the Attorney-General’s Department on translation, including arranging translation in the
sentencing country when this is the most efficient and cost-effective approach.
Consular officers may be requested to provide advice and assistance to the Attorney-
General’s Department on aspects of the transfer process, such as:
     keeping prisoners informed of the status of applications, based on advice from the
        Attorney-General’s Department
     terms and conditions of transfer, including how the sentence will be enforced in
        Australia
     facilitating referral of the request for transfer to authorities of the sentencing country
     travel arrangements for escort officers and the prisoner
     liaising with authorities on arrangements for the physical hand-over of the prisoner
        to escort officers, including protocols to be observed by escort officers
     any requests for further information by the Attorney-General’s Department, the
        sentencing country of the prisoner, their family or legal representatives.
The application forms completed by the prisoner should include a consent by the prisoner for
their personal information to be disclosed as necessary for the purposes of processing their
application. As well as consenting to disclosure of their information to Government agencies,
prisoners are asked to nominate individuals to whom their personal information may be
disclosed, such as relatives or legal representatives. Consular officers should consult with
the Attorney-General’s Department and exercise care before disclosing personal information
in response to any query.

6.19 Welfare of prisoners
When Australians are imprisoned overseas, consular officers should show a continuing
interest in their situation. Their concern, however, is with the prisoner’s welfare and they
should not make assumptions about the prisoner’s guilt or innocence.
The crimes which prisoners have committed, or have allegedly committed, have no bearing
on the responsibility to provide a sensible humanitarian response to their basic needs.
Consular officers should carefully monitor the physical conditions of imprisonment, including
access to medical and dental care, and make full reports to the Department. Consular
officers should show compassionate understanding of the psychological impact of
imprisonment and separation from the home environment and culture. Serious problems of
adjustment should be reported to the Department.
Consular officers are expected to have the personal and professional skills to handle the
welfare needs of prisoners in a foreign environment. However, when a prisoner appears to
be suffering discrimination at the hands of the penal or judiciary authorities to the extent that
a just treatment of the case and/or the physical welfare of the prisoner may not be
reasonably assured, consular officers should urgently bring the situation to the attention of
the Department.
Consular officers should maintain close contact with prison authorities to facilitate access
and informal representations on behalf of prisoners and to enable officers to maintain an
awareness of prison conditions. Consular officers are responsible for ensuring that they are
familiar with the actual living conditions in prisons where Australians are held.
Officers involved in prisoner welfare should be familiar with the United Nations approved
Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Appendix 6A). While the rules are
not binding, officers should be ready to draw them to the attention of local authorities if it
appears that they are not being observed in the treatment of an Australian prisoner.

6.20 Visits to prisoners
As a general rule, consular officers must visit Australians in detention as soon as possible
after arrest. After the initial visits, posts should arrange a visits program. Monthly visits are
appropriate when the prevailing conditions of imprisonment are well below acceptable
international or Australian standards. Posts will also need to take into account the level of
dependence of prisoners on consular visits. Posts should not depart from a routine without
the knowledge and understanding of the individual prisoner.
The visits program needs to take into account the substantial resources involved by visiting
prisoners regularly and reporting on their welfare. The welfare needs of some clients may be
met though other avenues, including rehabilitation and work programs run by prison
authorities. Others have local support networks of families and friends or religious and social
workers. Posts should remain alert to issues, such as whether questions brought up by
prisoners during consular visits would be more appropriate for their legal representatives or
prison authorities.
Posts are encouraged to regularly reassess their prison visits program. Consular Operations
is prepared to consider proposals case-by-case. Proposals should identify any difficulties
with the current visits program and nominate a visiting frequency for each client, taking into
account language, social, culture, religious factors and the presence, or otherwise, of a local
support network. Proposals should also identify any other relevant factors, including access
to reverse charge telephone facilities or mobile phones that allow prisoners to communicate
with family, friends and legal representatives.
For long-term prisoners who are serving sentences longer than five years, it may be
appropriate to program visits relatively frequently in their first year of incarceration, less often
through the middle of their sentence and more frequently again during the final year. During
the final year, issues such as passport or visa renewal, arranging access to pre-release
counselling, and so on need to be addressed.
Some existing long-term prisoners may request that the present program of visits continues
unaltered. There should be sympathy for these requests when there is a genuine need,
subject to resource availability.
To avoid disappointment or distress to prisoners, the visit program should not be fixed to
particular days of the month.
Consular officers making prison visits should ensure that they obey prison regulations,
particularly those applying to carrying items in and out of the prison. Breaking the rules could
result in a curtailment of consular visits and punishment for the prisoner.
Prison visits serve to monitor the condition of the prisoner and the prison and to remind both
the prisoner and the prison authorities of the Australian Government’s continuing interest.
If consular access to the prisoner is denied, either at the time of arrest or during
imprisonment, the post should inform Consular Operations promptly. The Government’s
clear intention is that access to Australian consular assistance should be sought unless
prisoners indicate, personally and clearly, that they do not wish to see a consular officer.
At some posts, due to the location of the prison, the objectives of a visit are frequently
achieved by telephone. While this option is acceptable, it is still preferable for those
prisoners to be physically visited as regularly as possible. Notwithstanding that a prisoner
visit takes place personally or by phone, a report in the format at 6.21 must be cabled to
Consular Operations promptly.
Consular officers’ regular reporting to Consular Operations on the welfare of prisoners is
invaluable to the Department in keeping families informed when there is consent to do so.
Prisoners have the primary responsibility, however, of communicating with their families and
consular officers should remind them of this.

6.21 Arrestee/prisoner visit report
Whenever a visit is made to a prisoner or arrestee, whether in person or by telephone, a
report is to be cabled to Consular Operations as soon as possible after the visit in the
following format:

     Visited on:            [Date visit took place]


     Visit lasted for:      [Duration of visit in hours (i.e. 1.5 hours; 0.5 hours)]


     Visited by:            [Names of all officers, A-based and LES, who undertook the visit]


     Issues discussed:      Welfare

                            Medical conditions

                            Food and sustenance
                          Other visitors

                          Current legal status

    Post action           [Details of action post proposes to take as a result of the visit]
    required

    Post action taken     [Details of action taken by post since the visit]


    Date next visit

    Consular              [Details of action required to be taken by Consular Operations as a
    Operations action     result of the visit]
    required


6.22 Transfer of funds for prisoners and financial assistance to prisoners
Transfer of funds for prisoners and prisoner loans are in Part 3.

6.23 Prisoner health
Prisoners in foreign countries may face special problems arising from loneliness,
disorientation, violence, racial discrimination, corruption, drugs and lack of access to
adequate medical and dental attention. Physical or psychological ill-health may result and
monitoring this aspect forms a significant part of prisoner welfare work.
Diagnose of psychological conditions is a matter for an expert, not consular officers.
Consular officers should, however, be observant and alert to problems of behaviour and
adjustment as these are a major determinant of how a prisoner will cope with deprivation of
freedom.
When deciding any action necessary the consular officer must consider:
     the prisoner’s own wishes, needs and financial resources
     prison rules and conditions
     facilities and services which can reasonably be provided by the Australian mission
       and local authorities
     assistance available from other sources, such as family, friends and welfare
       organisations.
The most common health problems concern food, standards of hygiene, and lack of
adequate medical and dental services. In many countries prison diet must be supplemented
for western prisoners and, in some cases, prisoners have to provide their own basic
medicines.
Medicare does not cover hospital or medical expenses incurred overseas. However, the
Government has negotiated reciprocal health care agreements with a number of countries
(see Section N). At present, agreements have been formalised with Finland, Italy, New
Zealand, Malta, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden and the UK. These
medical services need to be arranged by the prison administration or prisoners themselves,
funded if necessary by family or friends. Consular officers should therefore closely monitor
the quality of these services.

6.24          Media enquiries about arrests
The basic principles and instructions relating to privacy and dealing with the media, are in
Part 1 and Section D of this handbook. Posts should adhere to the guidelines in those
sections.
6.25 Pre-release counselling
All Australian states have programs for the support and reintegration into society of prisoners
released from Australian gaols. These include:
       accommodation and meals
       counselling services
       assistance in finding work, including special assistance through the Australian
         Government’s work assistance programs.
Prisoner aid organisations in each capital city offering these programs are in 6.26.
Organisations with which the Department has been in touch have indicated their willingness
to extend assistance to ex-prisoners returning to Australia from overseas. The extent of
assistance may vary from time to time in the light of current resources.

6.26 Services offered by prisoners’ aid organisations
Assistance to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their dependants may be obtained from the
following specialised agencies. Some areas may have a number of agencies offering similar
assistance. When there is no listing for a state or territory, it may be possible to locate an
agency by referring to either the community listings at the beginning of the local telephone
directory or in the local White Pages directory under ‘prisoner aid’.
ACT
Prisoners Aid (ACT)
GPO BOX 112
Canberra ACT 2601
Tel: 61 2 6257 4866
Email: prisonersaid@bigpond.com
NSW
Community Restorative Centre Inc
174 Broadway (Cnr Shepherd Street)
(PO Box 91)
Broadway NSW 2007
Tel: 61 2 9281 8863
Fax: 61 2 9211 6518
Website: www.crcnsw.org.au
Northern Territory
Darwin Prisoners Aid Association
60 Boulter Road
Berrimah NT 0828
Tel: 61 8 8922 3777
Fax: 61 8 8922 4832
Offenders Aid and Rehabilitation Services of N.T
PO BOX 1028
Parap NT 0804
Tel: 61 8 8981 0487
Fax: 61 8 8981 1727
Email: bill.somerville@oarsnt.org.au
Queensland
Prison Fellowship Australia
PO Box 13569
George St Post Shop
Brisbane QLD 4003
Ph: 07 3221 0088
Email: prisonfq@bigpond.com
Website: www.pfi.org.au/queensland
Australian Community Safety & Research Organisation Inc
PO BOX 440
Lutwyche QLD 4030
Tel: 61 7 3221 0088
Fax: 61 7 3221 0878
Email: acro@uq.net.au
South Australia
Offenders Aid and Rehabilitation Services of S.A., Inc.
234 Sturt Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Tel: 61 8 8218 0700
Fax: 61 8 8212 5515
Website: www.oars.org.au
Tasmania
Tasmania Association of Prisoner Support Service Inc (TAPSS)
PO BOX147
Glenorchy TAS 7010
Tel: 61 3 6225 5042
Email: tapssinc@bigpond.com
Victoria
Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (VACRO)
Level 1, 116 Hardware St
 Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 1800 049 871
Fax: 61 3 9602 2355
Email: infor@vacro.org.au
Website: www.vacro.org.au
Western Australia
Outcare Inc
27 Moore St
East Perth WA 6004
Tel: 61 8 6323 8622
Fax: 61 8 6323 8611
Email: outcare@outcare.com.au
Website: www.outcare.com.au

6.27 Advice to the Department of impending release of prisoner
When a prisoner is nearing release, the post should advise Consular Operations in good
time of the nature of any assistance the prisoner may require on return to Australia. If
necessary, the Department will consult organisations to ascertain what assistance can be
provided and advise the post. This advice will include contact names and addresses.
However, it is usually up to the prisoner to apply directly to the organisation for assistance.
Prisoners should make their own arrangements for air tickets and travel funds, but often their
situation means some consular assistance will be required.

Chapter 7: Medical evacuation
7.1    Consular role
7.2    The decision to evacuate
7.3    How an evacuation is arranged
7.4    Medical treatment/medical evacuation checklist
7.5    Escorts for medical evacuation
7.6    Reception in Australia
7.7    RAAF medical evacuation
7.8    Notification of nominated contact

7.1     Consular role
When an Australian is in a hospital with inadequate facilities to treat their condition
satisfactorily, a medical evacuation to adequate medical facilities should be considered. If
the client has no travel insurance and cannot pay for their evacuation, or their condition is so
severe there is no time to organise finance from these sources, a Government-financed
medical evacuation can be used. The destination of a Government-funded medical
evacuation is usually a capital city in Australia.
All cases involving applications for financial assistance for medical cases must be referred to
Consular Operations by cable, or in cases of extreme emergency by phone, to the Director
Consular Operations or, out-of-hours to the Consular Emergency Centre. In non-urgent
cases, as with other types of assistance, the client must have made every attempt to obtain
funding from private sources before a loan can be considered. See Chapter 14 for details on
how to give a loan to cover a medical evacuation and a checklist.
To the extent possible, the patient’s views on evacuation should be sought and made known
to those involved in making decisions on the evacuation. The decision rests primarily with
the patient and/or the patient’s family in consultation with the treating doctor. Others that
may become involved in the decision-making include medical staff, the insurance company,
the carrying airline and, when Government funding is involved, Consular Operations.
Medical evacuations are often sensitive and subject to media interest. While many take
place without the post’s knowledge or involvement (eg. by insurance companies) a post
should advise Consular Operations promptly by cable of any case coming to its knowledge
and any involvement by the post, however slight. The cable should contain as much relevant
data as possible.
Despite the obvious heightened concern for the client’s welfare in evacuation cases,
consular officers must ensure that they obtain Privacy Act consent from the client or an
exemption in order to pass on appropriate information to third parties.
In the case of a request for medical evacuation linked to illness caused by a highly
communicable and potentially life threatening disease (such as Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome), posts should provide a report by the treating medical practitioner/hospital on the
patient’s condition, level of infectiousness, local quarantine restrictions and fitness to travel.
Consular Branch will consult the Department of Health and Ageing on all these requests and
arrangements for airport reception and hospitalisation in Australia as necessary.

7.2      The decision to evacuate
As far as possible, persons involved in making decisions on medical evacuation should have
the following information available:
       local availability of professional medical expertise
       knowledge of the extent of local hospital facilities, including support services such
          as nursing
       possible period of treatment
       cost factors, such as hospital and medical charges and evacuation costs, including
          costs of an escort if required
       ability of the patient, relatives or insurance company to finance medical evacuation
       the patient’s need for emotional support
       the patient’s condition and fitness for air travel.
Posts should always seek to ensure that hospitals are aware that the Department cannot
meet hospital and medical charges. These are a matter for private arrangement between the
patient and the hospital and doctors. (Chapter 14)
Head of Mission/Head of Post discretion could apply in some circumstances. This assistance
could extend to include costs to collect patient, evacuate them to a suitable treatment centre
which could be in Australia, local hospital and treatment costs, and cost of escort.
In medical evacuations at Australian Government expense, the Department will accept
responsibility for making the necessary decisions.

7.3   How an evacuation is arranged
For medical evacuation, the general principles for providing Government funding are the
same as for repatriation. (Chapter 14)
The consular officer should follow these steps:
Step 1: Alert Consular Operations by cable to the possibility of an evacuation and
         keep them informed of progress.
Step 2: Consult the patient when possible, as well as the patient’s doctor.
Step 3: Consult the airline which will require details for evaluation before accepting a patient.
These details should include:
          patient’s full name
          date and place of birth
          residential address in Australia with home and office telephone numbers of
             persons to be informed of the illness/accident and approached for assistance
          name and address, including telephone number of hospital
          a brief description of the patient’s general condition and whether the local
             hospital or attending doctor considers a stretcher on the aircraft is necessary.
             This is usually supplied directly from the hospital to the airline by completing an
             airline form
          medication patient is receiving and what will be required immediately before and
             during flight
          any restraint required during flight (supplied by hospital or doctor)
The hospital will probably be required to make a recommendation on the need for an escort
and, if required, the type of escort (see 7.4)
Step 4: If the patient cannot meet all costs before leaving the post, Consular Operations
requires the following detailed breakdown of costs so it can either seek funds from relatives,
friends or insurance company or approve expenditure from Departmental sources:
          medical
          hospital
          ambulance
          airfare of patient
          return airfare for escort if provided locally other expenses.
Consular Operations will advise the post when funds are available and the post should enter
into no obligation until it receives this advice.
Step 5: Advise Consular Operations of the airline’s decision as soon as it is known and the
type of escort, if required. The most common types of escort are:
          medical officer
          nurse
          medical officer with psychiatric qualifications
          nurse with psychiatric qualifications
          unqualified family member or accompanying friend.
If Qantas is nominated and a medical escort is to be secured from Australia, Consular
Operations will consult Qantas and arrange for the medical escort.
Medical evacuations cannot be arranged hastily, as a stretcher may have to be fitted in the
originating country of the airline, eg. Australia in the case of Qantas. See the general
guidance in the sections on escorts below.
Step 6: Advise Consular Operations of the final flight and any variation in the patient’s
condition.
Advise the local police, if the patient was involved in an accident which might have come to
police attention. In some cases, it may be necessary to seek police approval to proceed.
Inform post/s en route of any required change in aircraft and provide relevant background
data. Information should include reason for medical evacuation, conditions of carriage by
airline, whether or not travelling with an escort, medication carried, and complete itinerary
that includes details of reception arrangements in Australia. The post/s will meet the
escorted passenger and assist with transit arrangements (change of aircraft, overnight
accommodation in the airport’s first aid station, or hospital outside the airport).
Step 7: Ensure the ambulance is booked, tarmac clearance has been obtained for the
ambulance and perhaps for the consular officer, the ambulance or other staff are available to
carry the patient onto the aircraft, the hospital is aware of the departure time and necessary
arrangements have been made, and the hospital account has been paid or the hospital and
the patient have come to another arrangement acceptable to both. The post must not
guarantee payment unless the funds have been received through Consular Special Services
Account and will be Government-funded as part of the evacuation.
Obtain a medical report and hand it to the escort. If the report is not available before the
patient leaves or if the hospital will not hand it to a non-medical person, the report could be
forwarded through the Department to the appropriate hospital or doctor in Australia.
Step 8: Advise Consular Operations of the actual departure details, and repeat this
information by cable or telephone to post/s involved in stop-over arrangements.
When a relative or friend is conducting the medical evacuation, posts may find the following
these additional guidelines useful.
In case of an accident, has the nominated contact been advised? Consular Operations
would advise them if asked to do so. A large range of overseas events generate media
interest in Australia and ,consequently, relatives hearing of accidents that involve Australians
may approach Consular Operations
Has the doctor in charge or hospital agreed to the patient’s departure by air? The airline may
request a hospital certificate to this effect
If the patient is to take prescribed medication during flight, the original prescription should be
in possession of either the relative/friend or the patient. It would also assist local authorities,
especially in transit or during an unforeseen stopover, when the patient may be
accommodated in either the airport’s first aid station or in hospital, if any accompanying
medication could be in a clearly labelled container from the hospital, showing the patient’s
name and contents or prescription
If no direct flight is available, the airline must book the passenger through and must advise a
second or third carrier of relevant details and requirements
Check whether reception arrangements in Australia have been made. This is the
responsibility of the family in Australia, not Consular Operations.
How will flight details or last minute changes be transmitted to Australia? The accompanying
relative or friend could be advised to get in touch with the nearest Australian post which may
be in a position to do this. In most cases, however, the carrying airline will have its own
communications system. Any insurance or legal matters outstanding, which could be
attended to before departure. Insurance companies may have provisions covering the
acceptance of a claim during a specific period. Late submission may void the eventual claim.
Some insurance policies will meet the charges directly if they have a local office. Advice to
insurance company (if any) in Australia.
When a relative, friend or insurance company has taken charge of an evacuation, the post
should maintain contact with that person or with the airline to ensure that suitable
arrangements have been made.
The Department requires posts to notify an airline when an intending passenger may be ill
during the journey. Airlines have a responsibility not only for protecting the evacuee, but also
other passengers.
7.4    Checklist medical treatment/medical evacuation

      Is Australian Citizenship proven? (by passport/travel document/Passport Issuing
1                                                                                            Yes / No
      Control System

2     Is the recipient a short term traveller? (usually not a long term overseas resident)   Yes / No

      Does the recipient have Travel Insurance that will cover their situation?
3                                                                                            Yes / No
      (obtain information from Travel Insurance firm in writing)

      Is the recipient able to obtain financial assistance via other means?
4                                                                                            Yes / No
      (family, friends, acquaintances, banks, financial institutions)
      Is the post satisfied that Medical Treatment/Medical Evacuation is appropriate?
5                                                                                            Yes / No
      (written documentation from doctor and/or hospital required)
      Has the post worked out costs by obtaining itemised quote(s) for:
        a)                    (i)     the cost of treatment and hospitalisation;             Yes / No
6       b)               and/or
        c)               (ii) the cost of repatriation to Australia?
                                                                                             Yes / No
             (written documentation required for (i) and (ii))

      Has the Director Consular Operations approved the expenditure of funds?
7     (approval received by cable or fax, or in extreme emergencies verbally from            Yes / No
      Director Consular Operations)

      Have loan details been entered into SAP and forms printed?
8                                                                                            Yes / No

      Has Acknowledgement and Legal documentation and UTR been signed by:
                         the recipient; OR                                                   Yes / No
8                        relatives or friends who are Australian citizens?
      d) (ensure the signatory is 18+ years old and that signature is on all copies)

      Have the Terms and Conditions been read out loud to the person signing for the
9a    loan? and have they signed?                                                            Yes / No

      If the Adult Recipient is not signing for the loan, has the Explanation of Indemnity
9b    been read out loud to the Recipient? and have they signed?                             Yes / No

      Has a copy of the Acknowledgement and Indemnity docs been given to the loan            Yes / No
10b
      signatory?

      Has the loan signatory been given documentation regarding payment schedule             Yes / No
10c
      requests
11    Has the loan amount been recorded in AUD in the loan signatory’s passport?           Yes / No


7.5     Escorts for medical evacuation
In many cases, a medical evacuee will need to be accompanied by an escort. It is likely that
in these cases the airline will require an escort with medical training or qualifications. The
following outlines the role and responsibility of officers in relation to escorts.
When civilian airlines are used for medical evacuation of Australians suffering from a
physical or psychiatric disorder, arrangements for an escort are normally made by the
nominated contact or friend. In their absence, the Department co-ordinates arrangements.
As any costs incurred for the escort are ultimately the patient’s responsibility, they should be
minimised. Relatives or friends who are on the spot may be suitable escorts if they are
acceptable to the airline.
Since the decision to carry a passenger is one for the airline, local airline offices may need to
consult their head offices before accepting a medical evacuee. Therefore, posts should
establish early contact with the carrier.
When the Department is meeting the costs of evacuation under the conditions applying to
repatriation, it will initially meet the costs for the escort and the ambulance.
The initial decision on the required qualifications of an escort is made by the airline. The
person meeting the charges will then choose the escort, whether a family member, a
medical practitioner or someone else qualified for the responsibility.
When a post believes a medical evacuation case may arise, it should advise Consular
Operations of any preferences the patient might have for a particular escort, and whether
there is a suitable local escort willing to serve on the same terms as an escort from Australia.
While this advice can help Consular Operations, no firm plans can be made until the airline
decides the level of escort it requires.
The return passage for the escort chosen is the responsibility of the passenger or the person
paying for the medical evacuation.
In some countries, it may not be possible to procure adequate medical supplies for the
journey. In these cases, the post should advise whether an escort from Australia should
bring supplies and should ensure that local authorities will not create difficulties over entry of
the medication.

7.6    Reception in Australia
When the patient has no relatives or friends in Australia, Consular Operations will liaise with
the appropriate authorities, for example doctors and hospitals, to arrange reception. For this
purpose a copy of the medical history is required.
Patients with psychiatric disorders must be examined on arrival at the airport to confirm any
requirement to be placed under psychiatric care. In these cases, it is of prime importance to
provide a full medical history of the patient. This may be conveyed in a sealed envelope to
be examined by a medical practitioner or by the hospital of destination only.
To make proper reception arrangements, Consular Operations must have at least 48 hours
notice during working hours. Staff of other departments involved may not be available on
weekends and public holidays.
Treatment of mentally ill persons is covered in Australia by law, and legal and practical
problems can arise when an arriving patient who is not being met by friends or relatives
refuses ambulance or hospital care at the airport.
Only qualified medical practitioners in Australia have the power to certify or order the
admission of a person to a psychiatric hospital. Police, however, have the power to
apprehend persons they believe are mentally ill and take them for examination by a medical
practitioner.
To guard against problems at the airport, posts should ensure that the attending overseas
hospital establishes early direct contact with the psychiatric hospital that will admit the
patient in Australia. Consular Operations will assist in making this first contact through the
state health authorities. State authorities may provide a medical officer to meet the patient at
the airport.

7.7     RAAF medical evacuation
In the Australian and Pacific regions the Royal Australian Air Force may undertake
emergency medical evacuations when:
       suitable treatment is not available locally
       there are no other means of evacuation to a suitable centre for treatment
       a suitable aircraft is available at the time.
For urgent requests, posts should in the first instance contact Consular Operations or the
Consular Emergency Centre when appropriate. Consular Operations will liaise with Assistant
Secretary Consular Operations Branch to obtain approval to approach the RAAF, the post
and Headquarters Air Command.
Non urgent requests should be referred via Consular Operations.

7.8     Notification of nominated contact
If the patient requests it, or if the doctor advises it, the post should ensure that the nominated
contact is notified urgently if a patient is likely to die. This notifications should report the
doctor’s assessment and advice and should preferably be sent through Consular
Operations.
Chapter 4 shows the sample letter that Consular Operations generally uses to notify the
nominated contact when Australians are injured abroad. The letter also indicates how
Consular Operations may be able to assist.

Chapter 8: Deaths of Australians overseas
8.1      Consular role
8.2      Deaths overseas
8.3      Identification of bodies
8.4      Disaster victim identification
8.5      Notification of death to the Department
8.6      Disposal of the body
8.7      Return of human remains to Australia
8.8      Return of human remains for cremation in Australia
8.9      Translation of certificates
8.10     Disposal of human remains by the Australian Government
8.11     Follow-up action by posts
8.12     Receipt and return of personal effects
8.13     Passport of the deceased
8.14     Registration of deaths overseas
8.15     Death in Australia
8.16     Sample letter to nominated contact of deceased persons
8.17     How can we help?

8.1   Consular role
The consular role in the deaths of Australians overseas aims to ensure:
      prompt notification to Consular Operations and the nominated contact
       guidance and support to families or others involved
       assistance to families or others with disposal of remains and personal effects
       when no alternative is available, proper disposal of the body.
8.2      Deaths overseas
Host countries have a duty to inform posts without delay of the death of one of the post’s
nationals, under Article 37 of the Vienna Convention.
If a post receives advice on the death of an Australian from sources other than government
authorities, such as tour operators, travel agencies or friends of the deceased, the post
should at once seek confirmation and additional details from government authorities, usually
the local police.
The post should also offer assistance, within the scope of these guidelines, to relatives or
friends. Consular officers should be aware that deaths are highly emotive for both relatives
and friends of the deceased and the officer’s handling of the case reflects strongly on the
consular service and the Department as a whole.

8.3      Identification of bodies
The identity of the deceased must be established and confirmed as soon as possible. This
function is normally the responsibility of the local authorities, and includes issuing a death
certificate.
In some countries, particularly in remote areas, local authorities may expect an Australian
consular officer to attend and assist in the procedures. Furthermore, consular officers may
consider it necessary, in local conditions, to satisfy themselves about the identity of the
deceased.
If there is any doubt about the identity of the deceased, posts should communicate this to
Consular Operations when reporting the death. The report should include the reasons for the
doubt, detail the method used for identification, and proposed procedures for confirmation of
identity.
On receipt of advice of a death, Consular Operations normally arranges for state or territory
police to notify in person the nominated contact as soon as possible. If necessary, this
notification will include reasons for any doubts about the identity of the deceased.
In some circumstances, positive identification may be difficult. The most common aids to
identification are:
        passport photograph
        photographic driver’s licence
        jewellery
        scars and other identifying marks
        dental charts (odontogram)
        fingerprints
        DNA testing.
When scars or similar signs are evident, the report to Consular Operations should describe
them as accurately as possible, with linear measurements in relation to adjacent physical
features. When x-ray facilities are available in the morgue, they may be used to identify
features, such as old bone fractures.
Fingerprints of persons, other than those with a police record in Australia, are of little value
as there is no general Australian requirement for fingerprinting citizens. However, it may be
possible to discuss with the Australian Federal Police forensics if there is any possibility of
compiling ante mortem material from the deceased’s residence.

8.4    Disaster victim identification
In cases of mass casualties overseas or when identification of the deceased may be in
question (eg. fire, exposure to the elements), there is a requirement under Australian
legislation for the deceased to undergo disaster victim identification.
When this identification is required, the post should discuss it with local authorities to
ascertain the availability of forensic experts to conduct the identification to international
standards. Consular Operations will also liaise with the Australian Federal Police, who may
consider sending to the local authorities an offer to assist in conducting the identification.
Consular Operations should request that the Australian Federal Police arrange to discuss
the identification process with the nominated contact and obtain ante-mortem material from
the family, as appropriate.
If disaster victim identification protocols are initiated, Consular Operations will need to
ensure the relevant State Coroner is notified of the identification before the deceased is
repatriated to Australia. Copies of all relevant documentation should be passed to the
Coroner as a matter of priority following positive identification. The Coroner will decide
whether the body can be released to the funeral director immediately on arrival in Australia
or whether a further forensic examination is required.
Approval for burial/cremation in Australia following disaster victim identification can only be
granted by the relevant state Coroner.

8.5      Notification of death to the Department
Posts must notify Consular Operations by priority or immediate cable if the case is Category
One of high profile. Consular Operations normally arranges for state or territory police to
notify in person the nominated contact as soon as they can be located when there is either:
        a requirement to notify the nominated contact in Australia or another country or
        no requirement for nominated contact notification, but media interest is apparent or
          reasonably expected.
When the notification is merely a formality (ie. an Australian expatriate who has been a long-
term resident overseas who died in-country and whose remains have been disposed of
locally by the family) and no consular involvement was necessary, notification may be by
routine cable. In these cases, the notification would be expected to be abbreviated.
Notifications should include the following points. Note that when an item is not available or
not applicable, it should be noted:
        full name of the deceased, with date and place of birth, using the format of surname,
           given names, date and place of birth
        full passport details
        name of the notifying authority
        date and place of death with a brief account of cause quoting the source(s) of the
           information
        current location of the body
        name and address of nominated contact shown in the passport and advise whether
           or not they have been informed
        a current estimate of local costs of burial, cremation and local disposal of ashes,
           cremation and return of ashes to Australia or return of the body to Australia in both
           local and Australian currency, using the current exchange rate. When the body has
           to be moved from an outlying area to a main town, the cost of this move is included
           in the estimate
        whether local health regulations set a time limit for burial
        full details of any personal travel insurance known to be held or located among
           personal papers
       any other useful information if no contacts are listed in the passport, such as a
         driver’s licence or personal letters
       any special information affecting disposal of the body, such as that it is too badly
         decomposed or the local authorities require an autopsy. If an autopsy is required,
         provide an indication on how long it will take to obtain the autopsy report
       whether a Will can be located and whether it conveys wishes for disposal.
When the nominated contact is known to reside in a country other than Australia, the
notification cable, with appropriate precedence, should be sent directly to the post with
consular responsibility for the country concerned with a request for the post to arrange for
notification of death by the local police. This notification cable should be copied to Consular
Operations.
When the nominated contact or other relatives are present and can make decisions, they
should be encouraged to take charge of arrangements. When the deceased had travel
insurance, the company should be encouraged to take charge of arrangements in
consultation with the family.
If the body is to be repatriated to Australia, Consular Operations can be requested to obtain
the necessary quarantine clearance (Section P). A quarantine clearance is not required for
ashes which may be sent directly to the nominated contact in Australia and not necessarily
consigned to an Australian undertaker.
If the post considers special circumstances exist, Consular Operations may assist with the
transfer of funds via Consular Services Special Account.
Local law overrides other considerations. If the local authorities insist on disposal of the body
within a set time limit and the nominated contact cannot be located, the local authorities will
take any decision on disposal. .
When reporting cases of deaths to Consular Operations, officers should ensure that they
attribute any statement concerning the cause of death to the source from which the
information was supplied.
 Posts must not release the names of deceased persons to enquirers until they have
received confirmation that the deceased’s nominated contact has been notified.
Cases may arise when relatives who doubt the accuracy of information on the cause of
death and may ask for further investigation. As a matter of general policy, they should be
advised that this is a private legal matter that they themselves must pursue. The sample
letter to the nominated contact (8.6), in its second last paragraph is intended to meet this
situation. However, when the Department perceives a broader Australian interest in the
matter, posts may be requested to make specific enquiries with local authorities.
Neither the post nor Consular Operations should seek to protect the nominated contact or
families from information which might be unpleasant or distressing. Freedom of Information
legislation does not provide for withholding information on the basis that it might cause
distress. If necessary, officers should consult Chapter 1 on Freedom of Information.

8.6    Disposal of the body
As soon as the wishes of the nominated contact are known, Consular Operations will inform
the post by cable.
When posts assist relatives in finalising accounts by using funds paid into the Consular
Services Special Account they should not commit any funds from this account until they
have received allocation advice from Consular Operations.
When burial or cremation arrangements are made in the country of death, the time of the
funeral/cremation should be notified to Consular Operations for forwarding to the nominated
contact.
There are no quarantine restrictions on the importation of human ashes after cremation.
(Section P.)

8.7     Return of human remains to Australia
When human remains are to be returned to Australia for burial or cremation, there are
requirements to meet under the Australian Quarantine Act 1908. Human remains are
required to be accompanied by a death certificate, or an official copy of an official certificate,
or an official extract from an entry in an official register that sets out the date, place and
cause of death.
If this documentation is not available or the cause of death is unclear, the remains must be
accompanied by an import permit. Import permits are granted/approved by the Australian
Quarantine and Inspection Service on the advice of the Department of Health and Ageing.
Posts should contact Consular Operations as soon as possible if an import permit is
required. Import permits are only issued on weekdays and take 24 to 48 hours to issue. The
post may be requested to obtain a certificate from local authorities stating that death was not
caused by a communicable disease.
If the death certificate or official copy of an official certificate or official extract from an entry
in an official register indicates that the cause of death is one of Australia’s quarantinable
diseases listed below, the Department of Health and Ageing requires the post to notify the
National Incident Room immediately, by telephoning +61 2 6289 3030.
This number is manned 24 hours every day. The National Incident Room will notify the
quarantine service and the Chief Quarantine Officer for the jurisdiction at which the human
remains will be arriving. The post should provide the following information:
       name of the deceased
       date, place, cause or circumstance of death
       expected date, time and place of arrival
       transportation arrangements, including the airline and flight number of the transport
          aircraft, and who will be meeting the plane and transporting the body in Australia.
Australia’s quarantinable diseases are:
      Cholera
      Dengue Fever
      Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
      Human Swine Influenza with Pandemic Potential
      Malaria
      Measles
      Plague
      Polio
      Rabies
      Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
      Viral Haemorrhagic Fever in Humans (VHF)
      Small Pox
      Tuberculosis
      Typhoid
      Yellow Fever.
Before returning any human remains to Australia, prior approval must be sought from the
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service to ensure it is not placed in the position of
having to refuse the entry of a body or order its cremation under quarantine
supervision.(Section P)
The following requirements and conditions should be covered when seeking approval from
the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service by priority cable/fax to Consular
Operations:
       name and date of birth of the deceased
       advice of the date, place and cause of death
       confirmation that copies of the death certificate, together with a translation into
         English when necessary, will accompany the human remains. Translations made by
         the post will suffice, as they are required only for entry and not for judicial purposes.
         If it has been necessary to obtain an import permit, confirm that a copy will
         accompany the remains
       details of confirmed flight arrangements for the human remains from the post to the
         destination in Australia or beyond. This should also include airway bill details,
         including the airway bill number
       name and address of the consignee, usually a funeral director or State Coroner. If
         details are not known, the post should ask Consular Operations to obtain these
         from the nominated contact
       confirmation that a copy of the Certificate of Embalmment and a translation, if
         required, will accompany remains.
Embalming is not a legal requirement for entry into Australia under the Quarantine Act.
However, if the body is embalmed this may be taken into consideration when determining
appropriate import permit conditions, as embalming reduces the risk of infection .
If the remains are to be embalmed, they should be arterially and cavity embalmed, according
to recognised codes of practice. A certificate of embalmment, translated when necessary, or
a copy must accompany the remains to Australia.
In some instances, embalming may not be recommended, for example if the body is to
undergo an autopsy in Australia. The institution performing the autopsy may also have other
requirements which should be considered when preparing the body for transporting
State and territory laws apply to the handling and transport of human remains. These may
include additional requirements to those of the Federal Government.
Apart from Consular Operations, airlines, shipping companies, local or Australian
undertakers or other authorities often seek quarantine approval directly from the Australian
Quarantine and Inspection Service. Posts should confirm with the local undertaker or airline
responsible for obtaining the quarantine clearance.
Most Australian quarantine requirements are also the normal requirements of international
airlines.
If a post receives a request to import human bones or teeth, the post must ascertain from the
enquirer the purpose of the importation. If the bones or teeth are for burial or cremation, they
should be treated as human remains. If they are to be imported as curios or jewellery, the
enquirer should be advised that skeletons and bones must be properly cleaned and free
from adhering material, such as soil, insects or other quarantine risk materials, such as
tissue, blood or faeces. The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service does not require a
written permit to import these, but barrier staff should be notified prior to importation. Bones
do not need to be transported inside a coffin or consigned to an undertaker.
If human hair is to be imported as a curio or jewellery, a permit is not required if it is cleaned
by an approved method, free of adhering material, and not for use in animal foods or
fertilisers.

8.8    Return of human remains for cremation in Australia
As cremation is not permitted or provided in some countries, some human remains are
returned to Australia for cremation. In most cases, documentation by the local authorities in
the country of death is sufficient to enable cremation to take place in Australia. When
additional documentation is required, posts will receive a detailed request from Consular
Operations.

8.9      Translation of certificates
Human remains imported into Australia must be accompanied by a copy of an official death
certificate or an import permit, and an embalming certificate if the remains have been
embalmed. To assist entry, these certificates should be in, or translated into, English. As this
requirement is only for the point of entry, this translation can be made by the post and it does
not have to be authenticated in the normal manner. A certification on the back of the
translation in the following terms is sufficient:
‘To the best of my knowledge, this is a true translation of the Death/ Embalmment Certificate
for
………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………

(Consul/Vice Consul)’
When an original death certificate does not accompany the body to Australia, posts should
ensure one is obtained from the local authorities, authenticated by a consular officer, and
forwarded separately to Consular Operations as soon as possible for probate and other legal
purposes.
According to advice received, all states and territories will accept an original copy of an
overseas death certificate for probate purposes. However, probate authorities in South
Australia will only accept an original death certificate for probate when:
      for Hague Convention countries, when an apostille has been affixed to the document
         or the document is authenticated by the nearest Australian or British post
      for non-convention countries, when the document is authenticated by the nearest
         Australian or British post.
When neither of these conditions is met, the South Australian probate authorities require the
death to be registered with the Registrar of Deaths Abroad and will accept the Registrar’s
extract from its records.
When official translations are required, they should be made by the local Foreign Ministry, or
an officially accredited translator, or a member of the locally engaged staff who is employed
as a translator. Australia-based members of the staff of the mission must not provide official
translations.

8.10 Disposal of human remains by the Australian Government
When no relatives can be traced, or relatives are unwilling or unable to assist, or there is no
time for enquiries, the post should seek approval from Consular Operations for the deceased
to be buried by local authorities in a pauper’s grave. When this service is not available, the
Government will meet burial costs. (Chapter 12) The deceased should not be cremated
without instructions from Consular Operations, as there could be a religious objection. A
consular officer should attend a burial whenever possible.

8.11 Follow-up action by posts
Posts should ensure financial aspects of managing deaths overseas are carried out in
accordance with the provisions of Part 3.
Posts must promptly obtain copies of any formal reports on the death and supplied under
local law (eg. accident or autopsy reports, etc.) and forward them to Consular Operations for
dispatch to the nominated contact or executor.
If funds have been transferred to post via Consular Services Special Account, the post
should ensure that all accounts have been finalised and send cabled advice to Consular
Operations of the acquittal of the internal order number before the case is closed.

8.12 Receipt and return of personal effects
A post should not accept the deceased’s personal effects unless there is no alternative. In
these circumstances, an inventory is prepared. When the items to be received are held by
local authorities, eg police, hospital, etc. a detailed inventory should be requested from that
authority before accepting the items, to minimise disputes with the nominated contact over
unaccounted items.
Officers preparing inventories should observe the following:
       all items are to be individually listed, but groups of items such as letters, receipts,
          road maps, etc. giving the number of each are permissible
       inventories should contain the number/s of all accountable or reimbursable items,
          such as airline tickets (noting whether fully used), travellers cheques, bank books,
          cheque books, bankcards, other credit cards, and cash
       no item is to be destroyed or censored except for soiled items (eg. blood-stained) or
          perishable foodstuffs. Items that are disposed of should be itemised and marked as
          destroyed, with an explanation, for example soiled. Posts should exercise discretion
          when soiled items are valuable.
The post must forward two copies of the inventory to Consular Operations, together with
advice of the cost of dispatch by various means (air freight, airmail, surface mail, etc.) and
expected time of delivery. Costs should be quoted in local currency and Australian dollars,
using current commercial exchange rates.
The two checking officers should sign a certificate that they have checked all items. This
document should be retained at the post in case further checking is required later.

Cash that is bankable through the official account should be credited to Cost Centre X2100,
GL Account 19200 (Unidentified/ Found Money), post's consular/passport receipts internal
order (refer CE571842L) and Company Code 2000. Posts should forward details of the
nominated contact's address in Australia by priority cable to Consular Operations.
When property includes valuable items, posts should indicate this in the inventory’s covering
memorandum, together with advice on the safest means of dispatch (other than by
diplomatic bag) and additional costs, for example insurance and registration.
Posts should return personal papers, including cancelled passport, travellers’ cheques,
cheque books, airline tickets, credit cards, etc. by air freight bag to Consular operations. The
cancelled passport may be destroyed if requested by the nominated contact.
At posts where local services and other forwarding agents are considered unreliable, posts
should advise Consular Operations of this at the time of forwarding the inventory, and advise
the cost per kilogram of air freight. In special cases, Consular Operations may give approval
to use the air freight bag for dispatch to Consular Operations of personal belongings of a
deceased Australian. Consular Operations may recover any freight charges from the estate
or nominated contact.
Items to be disposed of other than by sale at the request of the executor or the nominated
contact, should be given to local charities, particularly those which provide assistance to the
post in its work.
Posts are not expected to arrange the sale of personal items. The sale of property, such as
furniture, motor cars or boats should be arranged through a representative appointed by the
executor of the estate.
On receipt of advice from Consular Operations on dispatch of items, or on receipt of funds
from the executor or nominated contact, the post should forward items directly to the
address provided.

8.13 Passport of the deceased
Posts should physically cancel the deceased’s passport upon confirmation of death by
production of the death certificate and may then either hand it to the nominated contact or
forward it to Consular Operations to pass to the nominated contact or executor. Alternatively,
the cancelled passport may be destroyed if requested by the nominated contact.

8.14 Registration of deaths overseas
Usually a death can be registered with the local authorities. Persons winding up an estate
may then obtain a death certificate from them. If this certificate is authenticated, it is normally
accepted in Australia.
Deaths which are not registrable elsewhere may be registered in Australia under the
Registration of Deaths Abroad Act 1984. Deaths already registered overseas may also be
registered under this Act. Registration is not compulsory, but may assist relatives in
obtaining certificates or in searches of births, deaths and marriages records.
Applications for registration of deaths overseas cannot be made at Australian missions
overseas and should be referred directly to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in
the deceased’s state of origin. Further information may be obtainable from the ACT Registrar
General’s Office in Canberra:
Office of Regulatory Services
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601
Tel: 61 2 6207 0460
Fax: 61 2 6207 0895
Internet: http://www.ors.act.gov.au
Enquiries: BDM@act.gov.au
The following may be registered:
      a death outside Australia of an Australian citizen, an Australian resident or a person
        receiving an Australian pension
      deaths of persons who died on Australian aircraft or ships
      deaths of persons on aircraft or ships who are not Australian but have proceeded to
        or departed from an Australian port.
Person includes persons other than Australian citizens.
Deaths may not be registered under the Act when:
      identity of the deceased is unknown
      death occurs in a state or territory and therefore may be registered under state law or
         the law of a territory of Australia.
Certain disappearances that are taken to be deaths of persons who would fulfil the
conditions of a death that may be registered can also be registered when a registering officer
is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the person has died. This evidence might be an
authenticated report, aircraft manifest, ship’s records/passenger list or other similar
documents/statements.
An applicant for Registration of a Death Abroad must fill in the appropriate form (Form 213
ADA) which is available on the Office of Regulatory Services website at
www.ors.act.gov.au/bdm/WebPages/bdm_forms/html and will need an original of the local
death certificate and a translation, if applicable, for the Registrar to accept the application.
The form should be printed and mailed to the Registrar, accompanied by the required
documentation. Photocopies of the documentation are acceptable, but must be certified as
true copies by a justice of the peace or consular officer.
Subsequent certificates, such as a copy or an extract of an entry in the Register, may only
be issued by the Registrar for a fee. Current fees should be confirmed with the Registrar
prior to lodging an application. Applications may be made by letter or on a form available on
the website.

8.15 Death in Australia
Posts may be asked to notify the nominated contact overseas of the death of a relative in
Australia. This service is provided on humanitarian grounds at the request of authorities in
Australia, ie. police, Public Trustees or, in some cases, the nominated contact present in
Australia.
Notification of death to the nominated contact should be a personal visit by local police
authorities. Advice by telephone or telegram is undesirable and should be avoided.

8.16   Sample letter to nominated contact of deceased persons
          (usually prepared by Consular Operations – time/events permitting)
Dear XX XXXXXXXX


I write to express our condolences for the death of your XXXX XXXX, in XXXX XXXX.
This letter will explain the assistance which this department and our EMBASSY/HIGH
COMMISSION/CONSULATE in XXXXXXX is able to provide to you during this difficult time.
This department and our consular staff overseas can help with overseas arrangements on
your behalf and in accordance with your wishes.
The attached provides general information on how we may be able to assist you. Please let
us know if there are any aspects of the arrangements about which you are uncertain or if you
require further assistance.

Yours sincerely

XXXX XXXX
Consular Operations Branch
Telephone: 1 300 555135 (use option “6”)



8.17 How can we help?
The EMBASSY/HIGH COMMISSION/CONSULATE has not been able to ascertain, as yet, if
XXXX had Travel Insurance. We should be grateful if you could liaise with members of your
family to identify where XXXX may have made his travel arrangements. The travel agent
may have records.
The estimated costs of the disposition alternatives available are:
   (a) Approximate cost of local burial in XXXXX is $.
   (b) Approximate cost of local cremation and disposal of ashes in XXXXX is $.
   (c) Approximate cost of local cremation and return of ashes to Australia is $.
   (d) Approximate cost of preparation and return of XXXX’s body to Australia is $.
If you have not already done so would you please confirm in writing, as soon as possible, the
arrangements you would like us to make on your behalf.
If you need assistance with arranging the transfer of funds to XXXXX please discuss this
with your case manager.
You may be assured that we, and our consular officers overseas will do all that we can to
ensure that the arrangements you request are carried out as promptly and efficiently as
possible by the local authorities. As the standard of services provided may vary from country
to country, however, neither we nor our overseas mission can accept liability for the standard
of service or charges made by authorities, funeral homes, or other services providers.
We will request details of any personal effects belonging to XXXX which may be held by the
local authorities. If necessary, we may be able to arrange for the return of personal papers to
you (eg. passport, travellers’ cheques etc) through official channels, however other
possessions will need to be returned by commercial means. We will obtain an inventory of
these and will forward a copy to you to enable you to make an informed decision on what
you would like to do in relation to these possessions. We will endeavour to ensure the
personal belongings are returned to you as quickly as possible, however, we are not able to
accept liability for the loss or damage of any belongings that are being transported either
through official channels or by commercial carriers.
A Death Certificate and other formal reports furnished under XXXXXXX law (eg. an Autopsy
report, police reports etc.) will be requested by our overseas mission and forwarded to you
as they are received. If you have queries in relation to Estate or compensation matters I
suggest that you discuss these with your lawyer or directly with the authorities concerned as
these matters are of a private legal nature. We are able to provide you with a list of lawyers
practicing in XXXXXX if this would be helpful to you in pursuing such issues.
Although it is not compulsory, you may wish to register XXXXXX’s death in Australia with the
Office of Regulatory Services. Information on how to do this is available from the Registrar of
Births, Deaths and Marriages in the state where XXXXXX resided. Further information may
also be available from the Registrar of Deaths Abroad, GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601.
Tel: 02 62070460, Fax 02 62070895 and internet www.ors.act.gov.au.
Loss of a loved one overseas
For family and friends, the death of a loved one in any circumstance causes immense
feelings of loss and sorrow. When the death occurs overseas, there can often be additional
complications in organising the funeral, repatriation and other arrangements.
This brochure sets out how consular staff in Australia and overseas can assist you during
this difficult time.
What CAN a Consular Officer do?
We will do everything within the limits of international and local law and practice to assist
Australians who have lost a relative or friend overseas. We can often help with our
knowledge of the local environment and the legal and administrative processes in that
country. These processes may be unfamiliar and appear unnecessarily demanding for the
family whose main priority is to bring their loved one home. We can help.
A consular officer CAN:
      provide a list of local funeral directors
      provide a list of local lawyers
      liaise with the local funeral director so they are aware of Australian regulations
      provide guidance on obtaining translations if an English-speaking firm is not
       available
      advise on the estimated cost of local burial, local cremation and transport of the
       remains back to Australia
      advise on the estimated cost of transporting any personal property back to Australia
       advise on how to transfer funds from Australia to meet these costs
       help with local knowledge, such as health regulations and, if necessary, help
        identify the body
       help obtain quarantine clearance for the return of the remains
       help with registering the death
       assist with managing media enquiries on behalf of families.
What a Consular Officer CANNOT DO
When Australians go abroad they leave behind Australia's support systems, emergency
service capabilities and medical facilities. There are legal and practical limits to what
consular officers can do for travellers overseas.
A consular officer cannot:
      investigate the death ourselves
      pay burial or cremation expenses
      pay for the return of the remains to Australia
      take responsibility for freighting personal effects
      make legal representations, or become involved in legal issues surrounding the
        circumstances of the death or matters relating to a deceased estate
      pay any outstanding debts.
What should I do when my travelling companion dies?
If you’re overseas when your partner, relative or friend dies, you will need the following
details to enable you to make the necessary arrangements:
        full name
        date of birth
        passport number, place and date of issue
        next-of-kin
        were they suffering from any communicable illness
        if they had travel insurance and if so, the name and contact details of the company.
If the death is unexpected and did not occur in a hospital, the local police will be involved
and should notify the nearest Australian mission (embassy, high commission or consulate).
Both the deceased’s insurance company and your nearest Australian mission can help to
notify the next-of-kin in Australia.
Your call to an Australian mission might be answered by a duty officer in the country, or it
may be transferred automatically to our 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra. If
your call is answered by an answering machine, listen carefully to all the options.
What happens if a family member dies overseas?
Under international law, the nearest Australian mission should always be notified of the
death of an Australian citizen. If a tour company or a friend notifies us, we always confirm
the information with local authorities in that country. We will then contact the State or Federal
police in Australia who will visit the next-of-kin in Australia. Following this initial meeting, the
police will provide us the next-of-kin’s contact details. Only then will we be able to give them
further details about the death and the steps that need to be taken overseas.
While our consular staff will make every effort to ensure that relatives do not first learn of a
death via the media, we cannot always prevent this happening. If you hear of the death from
a journalist, a tour operator or any other third party, you should contact our 24-hour Consular
Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 (anywhere in the world) or 1300 555 135 (local call
cost within Australia). We can provide advice to the immediate family on how they may best
manage media enquiries.
For privacy reasons, we can only discuss matters regarding the death with designated next-
of-kin.
Does the next-of-kin have to travel to the country?
This is not necessary unless they wish to. The Australian mission may arrange for a local
undertaker to make arrangements and help the next-of-kin with the transfer of funds.
What happens to the remains?
The next-of-kin will be consulted about the deceased’s wishes and every effort will be made
to meet these. However, in some countries and in certain circumstances, local regulations
and conditions may result in the need to make a decision on these matters quickly.
How long will it take for the remains to be returned to Australia?
This depends on local regulations and circumstances. In some cases it can take up to two
weeks. However, if there is a need for an autopsy/coronial enquiry to determine the cause of
death this could take longer.
Who can help if the death occurs in a country where there is no Australian diplomatic
representation?
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s consular network extends to around 170
points of service around the world. Under a consular agreement with Canada, there are a
number of locations where Australians have access to consular services through Canadian
embassies and high commissions.

Counselling services
Australians overseas in need of counselling services can contact our Consular Emergency
Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 which will transfer the call through to a Lifeline Telephone
Counsellor.
Contacts
Addresses and telephone numbers of Australian missions are in local telephone directories,
hotels, tourist offices and police stations in the country concerned. Contact details can also
be located at www.dfat.gov.au/missions.
A directory of Australian missions and Canadian posts that assist Australians appears in
Travel Smart:Hints for Australian Travellers booklet. This booklet is issued with your
passport. To obtain and/or download a free copy go to smartraveller.gov.au/hints/index.html.
While every care has been taken in preparing this brochure, neither the Australian
Government nor its agents or employees, including any member of Australia’s diplomatic
and consular staff abroad, can accept liability for any injury, loss or damage arising in
respect of any statement contained therein.

Consular Policy Branch
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R. G. Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
BARTON ACT 0221
Tel (02) 6261 3305; 1300 555 135
Information for travellers and travel advices are available from the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade’s smartraveller website: smartraveller.gov.au.
October 2008


Chapter 9: Estates of Australians overseas
9.1    Consular role
9.2    Administration of estates
9.3    Receipt of property
9.4    Advice to beneficiaries
9.5    Recommendation of lawyers or agents
9.6    Remittance of proceeds
9.7    Death intestate
9.8    Receipt for property delivered

9.1     Consular role
Estate matters, like other private legal matters, should be handled without the intervention of
consular officers as much as possible. Posts should encourage judicial authorities and
private persons to use normal public channels of direct communication, rather than consular
officers.
Consular officers should not receive deceased property or undertake any duty of
administering or transmitting this property. An exception is countries where local law allows
only consular officers to deal with this property.
In cases other than the exception above, consular officers should, when necessary, assist
the deceased’s family, employers, bankers or other agents to receive the deceased’s
property.
In the case of the deceased’s personal effects, however, such as clothing and items being
carried by the deceased, posts should follow the procedure in 9.2.

9.2     Administration of estates
The local administration of estates should be undertaken by a representative of the
beneficiaries or the appropriate local Public Administrator. Consular officers should go no
further than communicating with Consular Operations, so any beneficiaries in Australia may
be informed of the existence of the estate and any pending Court proceedings.
When, in spite of this, consular officers are requested by the local authorities to administer
an estate, the limits are:
      officers must obtain authorisation from Consular Operations before undertaking the
         role, as distinct from merely transmitting effects
      officers should explain to the local authorities their inability to act, if the case is one
         in which they are not empowered to do so under these guidelines. They should
         suggest that the person or authority making the request consult their own legal
         advisers.

9.3      Receipt of property
When a consular officer receives any property, two officers must prepare an inventory, which
must then be signed by both the deliverer and the receiver. The post should forward a copy
to Consular Operations, together with full details of the executor, or the nominated contact if
there is no Will. When the executor of the Will or the nominated contact lives in the
jurisdiction of the consular officer, the officer should notify the executor or the nominated
contact of the action taken, and advise that the property can be delivered only upon the
granting of probate or letters of administration.
When the executor or the nominated contact lives in Australia, the consular officer should
retain the property until Consular Operations issues instructions for its disposal, following the
grant of probate or letters of administration.
Consular officers must not destroy any effects received unless Consular Operations issues
instructions to do so. Officers should record any disposal action on the inventory.

9.4    Advice to beneficiaries
When a consular officer receives notice that an application for probate of the Will of a
deceased Australian has been offered, or that letters of administration are being sought in
connection with the estate of an Australian citizen who died overseas intestate, the officer
should communicate immediately with any possible Australian beneficiaries who may be in
the jurisdiction of the post. If the officer knows of possible beneficiaries in Australia or
elsewhere, they should arrange for contact through Consular Operations or the accredited
post.
A consular officer, when communicating with Consular Operations or another post, should
give full details of the deceased and any possible beneficiaries.

9.5    Recommendation of lawyers or agents
When beneficiaries in Australia or elsewhere are interested in being represented in the local
administration of an estate, a consular officer may, if requested to do so, supply a copy of
the post’s list of local lawyers.

9.6     Remittance of proceeds
When consular officers are asked to remit the proceeds from an estate to a beneficiary, they
should check with Consular Operations on arranging this remittance and supply all known
details of the deceased and the beneficiary. When Consular Operations is satisfied that the
person concerned is entitled to receive the proceeds, it will advise the post of the means to
dispatch the proceeds.
If a consular officer has doubts about the identification of a beneficiary, the officer should
advise Consular Operations, giving reasons for these doubts.

9.7     Death intestate
If an Australian domiciled abroad dies intestate and without known kin, the property and
effects in the country of death may belong to the government of that country.
If, however, the local authority hands the proceeds of this estate to an Australian consular
officer, the officer should not decline to accept. The post should retain the property and
advise Consular Operations. The post should supply the following:
        a list of all effects constituting the deceased person’s estate
        evidence that the person died intestate
        steps taken to discover beneficiaries
        length of the deceased person’s residence in the country of death.
Consular Operations will attempt to identify and locate beneficiaries or creditors in Australia.

9.8      Receipt for property delivered
When a consular officer delivers any property to an executor, administrator, or beneficiary,
the officer must obtain a receipt.

Chapter 10:            Taking custody of funds and property
10.1           Custody of funds
10.2           Custody of property
10.3           Custody of personal effects
10.4           Emergency circumstances
10.5           Form of receipt
10.6           Sample receipt
10.7           Lost property
10.8           Disposal of unclaimed or lost property

10.1 Custody of funds
Consular officers should not normally take charge of private funds from or on behalf of
Australians abroad, whether for safe custody or transfer. This is a function of banks or
financial institutions and enquirers should be advised accordingly.
This rule, however, does not apply to handling funds paid for consular services. These could
include cash funds of deceased persons or funds lodged for the assistance of a consular
client. In all these cases, the funds should pass into official accounts via the Consular
Services Special Account.
Australians seeking assistance in transferring should be advised to use normal commercial
channels. Only in exceptional circumstances would use of the official account be considered.
In these exceptional circumstances, posts should seek approval by cabling full details to
Consular Operations. Posts must not anticipate approval.

10.2 Custody of property
Custody services do not normally extend to looking after people’s private property (ie. land
and buildings).

10.3 Custody of personal effects
Consular officers should not accept custody of personal property from the owner or the
owner’s representative, whatever its nature. Persons seeking this service should be advised
to apply to a bank, safe deposit agency or left luggage office, as appropriate.
In some countries, however, local laws make it obligatory for consular officers to accept
personal effects and those laws should be respected.
The handling of effects of deceased persons is covered in this chapter and Chapter 9.

10.4 Emergency circumstances
During an emergency, consular officers have discretion to temporarily take custody of
personal effects or portable assets.
When there is no emergency but the consular officer considers there is a case for
assistance, the matter should be referred to Consular Operations for guidance.

10.5 Form of receipt
When property is accepted in the circumstances described above, consular officers should
issue a receipt along the lines of 10.6. The receipt should make clear that the property will
only be retained for six months and may be disposed of after that time. The consular officer
should be satisfied that the depositor understands and accepts the conditions.
Officers should take every reasonable precaution to ensure that property is not lost or
damaged.

10.6    Sample receipt
                                (Print in duplicate on post letterhead)

On behalf of………………………………………………………….                                   (name of post),

I have received from…………………………………………                           at their request

and for their private convenience, . . . . . . . packages said to contain………………

to be kept in custody on the following conditions:

       (a) that neither I, the Australian (Mission) nor the Australian Government accept any
           responsibility whatsoever for any damage to or loss of this property;
       (b) that, if this property is left unclaimed for three months, it may be sold or otherwise
           disposed of without notice being given; and
       (c) that, in the event of such sale, the proceeds may be disposed of without notice
           being given.
This is a duplicate of the form of receipt which has been handed to the depositor, whose
signature appears hereon as evidence that the depositor understands and accepts the
foregoing conditions.


   ………………………………………..                             ………………………………………..

   Signature of Depositor                        Signature of Witness


   ………………………………………..

   Signature of Consular Officer



10.7 Lost property
Posts should avoid accepting lost property believed to belong to Australians if there are
appropriate local authorities available and willing to undertake the task.
In many cases, when posts are obliged to accept temporary custody of lost property,
adequate safekeeping arrangements must be made .
There are, therefore, two procedures for property cases, depending on whether it is held by
a lost property office or the post.
Items held by a lost property office or equivalent
When property is held at a local lost property office that requires assistance in locating and
informing the owner, the post should obtain the following details and write directly to the
owner, setting out the options and advising them to enter into direct contact with the holding
authority:
     a description of the property
     any local reference number
     name and address of holder
     address where items are held and may be collected
        any charges which may be levied, including air, sea and registered mail and freight
        costs for return of the items and how to make payment.

Items held by the post
When a post is asked to accept lost property, it must take all steps available to check that it
belongs to an Australian and the person is no longer in the area. Having done this, the post
may accept custody of the goods. Australian passports are handled in accordance with the
Manual on Australian Passport Issue.
Two members of staff (preferably one Australia-based) should immediately prepare an
inventory by:
       listing all items (miscellaneous papers, including road maps, may be grouped)
       providing accurate descriptions of valuable items, including serial numbers if possible
       signing the inventory as checked and found correct.
The post must then issue an official receipt(s) for any cash which can be banked in the
official accounts, crediting:
         Company code         2000 (Administered)
         Cost Centre          …X2100 (ADITEM – Admstd Rev)
         GL Code              …19200 (Unidentified/Found Monies)
        Internal Order ….      the post’s consular/passport receipts internal order.
Posts should note receipt details on the inventory and notify Canberra of contact details for
the recipient in Australia. Posts are not to refund money directly to recipients. When the
owner of the funds cannot be identified, posts should seek advice by cable from Consular
Branch before proceeding with any receipting of the funds (see Chapter 7 for details on
receipting and refunding unidentified/found money.)
Posts should destroy soiled items or perishables, noting the inventory accordingly (including
reasons for destruction) and place in a secure storage area all items retained, including
personal papers such as travellers cheques, credit cards, etc.
Posts should write directly to the owner in Australia, detailing the lost items held and
advising the cost in local currency for return by mail and air-freight. It would be advisable to
also include in the letter the approximate AUD value of these costs. This letter should also
advise the owner to forward a bank draft, in a specified currency, directly to the post if return
is required, or provide instructions for disposal. The letter should also explain that, if no
response is received within three months, the items will be disposed of, in accordance with
Departmental policy.

10.8 Disposal of unclaimed or lost property
Unclaimed or lost property may be disposed of after three months, if no reply has been
received from the owner. Goods, such as bags and clothing etc., can be disposed of either
by sale with the proceeds receipted to Administered Revenue, or by donation to a relevant
charity, unless it is impractical or undesirable in the public interest to do either. In either
case, records of disposal must be kept as the original owner may claim compensation. When
there is a need, posts may also retain some items of clothing to assist Australians in need.

Chapter 11:            Child abduction and welfare of minors
11.1    Consular role in child abduction cases
11.2    Scope of consular intervention
11.3    Definition of child abduction
11.4    Enforcement of judgments
11.5    Precautions against abduction
11.6    Maintenance proceedings
11.7    Child custody orders, child abduction
11.8    Precautions
11.9    Return of abducted children under the Hague Convention
11.10   Parental responsibility – the Australian perspective
11.11   Financial assistance for legal proceedings abroad for recovery of children

This chapter outlines the consular officer’s role in child abduction cases and provides
background on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
11.1 Consular role in child abduction cases
Consular Operations Branch has responsibility for day-to-day management of the consular
aspects of international child abduction cases involving Australians. Responsibility for all
legal and procedural aspects of cases under the Convention resides with Attorney-General’s
Department. (See also A/C P0893 International Child Abduction: Allocation of
responsibilities.)
Allegations of child abduction to the Department are taken very seriously but must also be
handled sensitively, and the expectations of the non-abducting parent carefully managed.
Posts should report all cases of child abduction or possible child abduction to the
Department.
Consular officers must take great care to ensure they differentiate, and are seen to do so,
between the welfare and legal aspects of a case. Generally speaking, the consular officer
has no role in legal matters (other than as a post box in some cases) but has a specific and
significant role to play in determining the welfare of an Australian who is a minor.
The majority of cases involving the Department are abductions of minors to countries which
are not signatories to the Hague Convention. Child abductions to non-Hague countries are
often complex and lengthy cases, and the ability of consular staff to monitor the welfare of
abducted minors is often limited, as it relies on the agreement of the abducting parent or
family members caring for them to provide access.

11.2 Scope of consular intervention
Consular officers have a strong interest in the welfare of all Australian citizens and
permanent residents when they are overseas. Regardless of the citizenship of the parents,
Australian children abroad should be provided with appropriate consular assistance.
Consular officers should not become involved in matters relating to custody (parental
responsibility) of children. The question of custody is determined by the courts. Parental
responsibility, in relation to a child, means all the duties, powers, responsibilities and
authority which, by law, parents have in relation to children.
When providing welfare assistance to a child who is the subject of a custody disagreement,
consular officers are to ensure that the child’s welfare is protected at all times.
When making decisions on the issue of travel documents or requests for relief or repatriation
when the minor is the subject of a custody dispute, the consular officer will usually have to
take into account the outcome of legal proceedings in Australia. Other proceedings may also
have some bearing on a decision.

11.3 Definition of child abduction
In general terms, child abduction occurs when a child is removed from their usual place of
residence to another without the consent of all persons with parental responsibility. In the
consular perspective, abduction occurs when a child is removed from or to Australia without
the consent of all persons with parental responsibility.
When a child is abducted from and to countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention
on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, action can be taken for the child to be
returned to its country of habitual residence where the courts can be approached to resolve
disputes about the child’s custody. Assistance that may be given under this Convention is in
11.8.
In other cases, matters of custody should be determined by the courts in the country where
the child is located.

11.4 Enforcement of judgments
Persons seeking information on whether a particular judgment may be registered and
enforced in Australia should be referred to the Australian Government Attorney-General’s
Department’s website which provides comprehensive information: http://www.ag.gov.au/ija

11.5 Maintenance proceedings
Australia is a party to the UN Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance
(UNCRAM) and also has bilateral arrangements with a number of countries. Pursuant to
these arrangements, the Family Law Act allows Australian authorities to enforce overseas
maintenance orders, or commence new proceedings in Australian courts to obtain
maintenance for a person overseas. Authorities in other countries may also enforce
Australian maintenance orders or commence new proceedings in their courts to obtain
maintenance for a person in Australia. All enquiries about maintenance should be referred to
the Administrative and Domestic Law Section in DFAT.
11.6 Child custody orders, child abduction
Enforcement of overseas child custody orders in Australia (and Australian child custody laws
overseas) may be pursued under the Family Law Act (Commonwealth) or the Hague
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Enquiries about child
abduction or child custody matters should be directed to the Australian Government
Attorney-General’s Department in Canberra.

11.7 Precautions against abduction
When a parent fears that a child may be abducted and removed from Australia, they should
be referred to the Attorney-General’s Department in Australia through the website
http://www.ag.gov.au or Child Abduction Hotline 1800 100 480.
The Family Law Act 1975 provides penalties for persons who seek to avoid current or
pending decisions of the court on custody of minors. For example, under Sections 65Y and
65Z, it is an offence to take a child out of Australia in breach of a court order or pending
court order.
The Family Law Act provides for circumstances when a statutory declaration can be served,
forbidding the transport of a child from Australia.
The full provisions of the Family Law Act are at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/.
When a parent suspects that a child is in danger of being removed from Australia and no
Australian passport has been issued for the child, the parent may request that the Passport
Office in Australia raise a stop-alert for the child.
A Form PC-9 Child Alert Request form can be downloaded from the Passport Office
homepage (www.passports.gov.au). Callers without access to the Internet should call
Australian Passport Information Service on 13 12 32 and ask for forms to be sent to them,
one for each child involved.
When a parent approaches a post requesting a stop-alert, the post should have the
appropriate passport form (PC9) completed and forwarded by fax to their Regional Eligibility
Centre of the Approved Senior Officer Referral Unit (Fax 61 2 6112 1029) for action as
quickly as possible.
The precautions described in the preceding paragraphs are not a complete bar to abduction.
Persons holding two passports, one Australian and another of a second citizenship, or using
false documents, or making false statements may attempt to evade precautions. Children
may also leave Australia on a passport issued before conflict arose.
Dual nationals may sometimes have a child included in a passport of their second
nationality. Then, even if a child’s name appears in warning lists in the context of the Family
Law Act at departure points or in a notice served on carriers, it may not be possible to
identify the child, particularly if a foreign script is involved.
In some cases, the Australian Federal Police may be able to assist the client by placing a
barrier alert at Australian airports. Callers should be advised to consult the police website
www.afp.gov.au –National Activities/Family Law or phone the police in their capital city and
ask for the Family Law Unit.

11.8 Return of abducted children under The Hague Convention
Australia is a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child
Abduction. The Convention allows a person, institution or other body with rights of custody to
a child to request the return of a child if they have been wrongfully removed to, or retained in
another convention country. Current information on the Convention is on the Attorney-
General’s Department’s website: http://www.ag.gov.au/childabduction.
The Attorney General’s Department performs the functions of the Commonwealth Central
Authority for the Convention and all communication on matters under the Convention should
be channelled through the Attorney-General’s Department. The relevant contact in the
Attorney-General’s Department is the International Family Law Section, Family Law Branch.
Phone: 1800 100 480 (within Australia), +61 2 6141 3100 (outside Australia), email:
centralauthority@ag.gov.au
Persons seeking the return of a child to Australia under the Convention need to complete an
application form, Form 1 of Schedule 3 of the Family Law (Child Abduction Convention)
Regulations 1986. This application is on the website: www.ag.gov.au/childabduction.
Parents in Australia should seek assistance from the appropriate state or territory central
authority to complete the application. The state or territory central authority will forward the
application to the commonwealth central authority. The commonwealth central authority,
after checking that the application is in accordance with the Convention, forwards the
application to the overseas central authority in the country to which the child has been
removed or retained.
Persons seeking the return of a child to another Convention country from Australia, should
contact the central authority in the country from which the child has been taken to obtain
information about making an application under the Convention.
When a child is abducted from Australia, the person seeking the child’s return may apply for
Australian Government financial assistance under the Overseas Custody (Child Removal)
Scheme. The application form for this Scheme is available on the website:
www.ag.gov.au/childabduction. Applications should be sent to Assistant Secretary, Legal
Assistance Branch, Attorney-General’s Department, Robert Garran Offices, 3-5 National
Circuit, Barton, ACT 2600.
The type of assistance that needs to be offered by posts in Convention countries depends
on the country involved. When there are language and communication problems, posts may
be asked to liaise between the commonwealth central authority and the local overseas
central authority. Posts may also be requested to assist with arrangements for the return of a
child to ensure they return safely.
Australia has entered into a bilateral agreement with Egypt and Lebanon on child abduction.
The agreement sets up a consultative mechanism to assist parents whose children have
been abducted to the other country or are having difficulties in contacting their child. Parents
whose children have been removed to Egypt and Lebanon should contact the Attorney-
General’s Department about applying for assistance under the bilateral agreement.
When a child has been taken to a country which is not a party to the Convention and is one
with which Australia does not have a bilateral agreement, parents need to start court
proceedings in the country where the child has been taken to obtain orders for their return to
Australia. The Attorney-General’s Department may be able to provide parents with financial
assistance under the Overseas Custody (Child Removal) Scheme for these court
proceedings.

11.9      Parental responsibility – the Australian perspective
Under Australian domestic law the concept of custody no longer exists. Instead, Australian
law uses the term parental responsibility. The term parental responsibility in Australian
legislation includes the concept of rights of custody referred to in the Convention.
Parental responsibility is defined in the Family Law Act as all the duties, powers,
responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to children. Under
Australian law, there is a presumption of equal shared parental responsibility, which means
that both parents have an equal role in making decisions about major long-term issues, such
as where a child goes to school or major health issues. It is important to understand the
difference between equal shared parental responsibility and equal time with the child. Some
parents believe that equal shared parental responsibility means that the children should
spend equal time with each parent. Shared parental responsibility is about parents taking an
equal role in making decisions about major long-term issues that affect their children. In all
decisions about children, the court is required to decide on the basis of what is in the best
interests of the child.
Under the Family Law Act, a parenting order confers parental responsibility for a child on a
person, but only to the extent to which the order confers on the person’s duties, powers,
responsibilities or authority in relation to the child. The Family Law Act makes clear that
unless a parenting order explicitly takes away a parent’s rights to parental responsibility,
each parent of a child who is not 18 has parental responsibility.
As arrangements for children can only be decided by a court or by agreement between
parents or other persons with an interest in the care, welfare and development of a child,
these remain a private legal matter.

In certain cases, applicants may be eligible for assistance from the appropriate state or
territory Legal Aid Commission for legal work in Australia for overseas proceedings.
Addresses are in telephone directories. Legal aid commissions have no power to grant legal
aid for legal costs incurred overseas.

Part 3: Financial Assistance
Chapter 12:            Provision of financial assistance overseas
12.1   Types of loans available
12.2   Loan documentation
12.3   Personal assistance from consular officers
12.4   Who can sign for a loan?
12.5   Repayment of loans
12.6   Repayment of loans – request for repayment schedule
12.7   Repayment of loan – final scheduled repayments

This section provides instructions on general procedures when providing financial assistance
to Australian travellers. Most financial assistance is a loan, called a traveller’s emergency
loan. Detailed instructions for each type of traveller’s emergency loan is in relevant chapters
Processes to follow in SAP when making loans are detailed in the relevant SAP Help Cards.
Providing financial assistance to travellers falls under the Financial Management and
Accountability (FMA) Act 1997 and are funded by the administered budget.
Consular officers should adhere strictly to these instructions. Case managers should ensure
the correct forms are used and all required details are provided. Particular care should be
taken when authorising expenditures and fulfilling the procedures relating to
acknowledgment of debt.
Forms for all categories of financial assistance are in CMIS. Financial assistance can be
granted to Australian citizens, but not to permanent residents or other foreign passport
holders with the exception, in some circumstances, of Canadian citizens. (Chapter 43)
Australian citizens living long-term or permanently overseas are not normally eligible for
financial assistance. When a post wishes to present a case for special consideration to issue
a loan to a person who is not otherwise eligible, it needs to present a strong reason for
approval to consular operations before the post provides any funds or documentation.
The object of granting financial assistance is to aid Australian citizen travellers (and in
certain instances Canadian travellers) who are assessed as in need or whose welfare is
under threat.
Travellers are required to demonstrate they have made all reasonable efforts to seek
financial assistance through other means (family, friends, acquaintances, work colleagues
and financial institutions) before they will be considered for financial assistance from DFAT.
If the traveller has travel insurance, the post should ensure that the traveller’s situation is not
covered by the policy before financial assistance from DFAT is considered.
Any person issuing funds or signing documentation approving financial assistance must
have the appropriate delegation from DFAT.
Loan recipients must provide a permanent address in Australia on loan documentation. This
address is verified by consular operations before the loan is approved.
Loans should be entered into SAP following the SAP Help Card. The forms will then be
automatically generated P.
Always use the correct documentation for the situation. Legally the documentation is not
interchangeable.
If SAP is not available, for subsistence and replacement of travel document loans, use a pre-
printed undertaking to repay from the Undertaking to Repay book. For large loans, eg.
medical evacuation, contact the Consular Emergency Centre for advice. The centre can
arrange to enter the loan into SAP and fax the documentation for signing. As a last resort,
blank forms are in the template section of the Satin Welcome page, under Consular.

12.1 Types of loans available
 Subsistence loans are granted to assist Australian citizen travellers who, in an
     emergency, need temporary financial assistance. In these circumstances, a small loan
     (up to AUD150) can be made to overcome a client’s immediate and/or temporary
     financial difficulties while they find a more permanent solution, such as receiving funds
     transfers from home, or cutting short their travels
 Loans to cover fees to replace lost or stolen passports/travel documents which are
     granted in an emergency when Australian citizen travellers are unable to pay the fees to
     replace a lost or stolen passport, ie. a priority processing fee/and or the cost of a
     replacement travel document
 Medical assistance which is granted only in exceptional circumstances to help with the
     costs of medical treatment when the need for treatment is urgent and delay could be to
     the serious detriment to the health of the patient
 Medical evacuation loan for the prompt removal of Australians, whose medical
     condition demands it and whose resources or support cannot achieve it, to a location
     where adequate medical facilities are available. The destination of a medical evacuation
     is usually a capital city in Australia
 Non-medical repatriation loan which is approved in exceptional circumstances to
     assist Australians temporarily abroad who need to return to Australia, but are unable,
     through unavoidable misfortune, to finance their return
 Prisoner loans to ensure that Australian citizens who are prisoners in foreign prisons
     and unable to buy adequate food and other essentials, such as bedding, cooking
     utensils, clothing, soap, etc. not provided by the prison authoritie, are able to buy
     sufficient food and medical supplies.
In countries with no Australian mission, financial assistance may be available from Honorary
Consuls or Canadian posts/missions.
Other types of financial assistance:
      Consular Emergency Services facility allows payment for in-kind services to
         destitute Australians or minors when it is not practical or legally possible to have an
         Undertaking to Repay signed. This facility also allows the payment of paupers’
         funeral costs. It is used typically when the traveller requiring emergency assistance
         is in a coma, or is subject to a mental health condition negating legal capacity, or is
         a minor
       Consular Services Special Account for exceptional and emergency cases, when
         problems can be resolved by the early transfer of funds through the official account.
         This mechanism can also provide a solution when, in exceptional circumstances, a
         traveller has funds but cannot access them through commercial channels
       Australian seafarersn assistance for repatriation is dealt with separately by the
         Australian Maritime Safety Authority
       assistance to Canadians may also be available for these citizens travelling away
         from their country of nationality, under the Canada/Australia Consular Sharing
         Agreement
      Permanent residents and other foreign nationals are not eligible for financial
      assistance.

12.2 Loan documentation
Before a loan approval is signed, the consular officer must go through the documentation
and all the relevant terms and conditions set out below carefully with the client or, if another
person is signing the documentation, with that person and have the client or other person
sign the Explanation of Terms and Conditions.
The terms and conditions to be explained are:
                    the total sum owed
                    the person signing is the person who is responsible for repayment
                    outside Australia, repayments are to be made at an Australian Embassy,
        Australian High Commission or Australian Consulate or via internet banking
                    within Australia, repayments are to be made at a Passports Office, or by
        internet banking, bank transfer or BPay
                    the date on which any and all monies are due to be repaid
                    the person signing is the person who DFAT will pursue for repayment if
        the loan is not repaid on time, and must be the holder of an Australian travel
        document
                    that if the person signing wishes to repay by instalments (this applies to
        loans other than subsistence and travel document replacement loans), they must
        first apply to DFAT
                    the person signing is the person in whose passport the loan will be
        recorded
                    the person signing is the one who will be unable to renew or obtain a
        new Australian travel document until the loan has been repaid, irrespective of
        whether the financial assistance was provided to them directly or indirectly, or
        whether or not they personally received any benefit from the financial assistance
                    that in the event of the death of the person signing, any money still
        owing will be a debt against their estate
                    that any legal action taken by DFAT to pursue the debt will be through
        the courts in the Australian Capital Territory within Australia, irrespective of where
        the person who signed for the loan resides
                    the term acknowledgement means that the person signing understands
        that:
             o DFAT is incurring a debt on the signing person’s behalf
             o the person signing will repay the debt by the due date
             o The term indemnity means that the person signing understands that they will:
                 repay DFAT for any payment DFAT was required to make to any
                    individual, company or government which provided any of the
                    assistance
                 reimburse DFAT for any financial losses DFAT may have incurred in
                    providing or organising the provision of the assistance
                 cover the costs of any legal proceedings which might arise out of the
                    provision of the assistance.
An example of a loan situation is: DFAT hires a helicopter pilot from a local company for a
medical evacuation and the pilot requires an armed person to ride shotgun. The person
signing is responsible for the cost of helicopter hire, the pilot, the person riding shotgun and
any sundries that may not have been included, such as fuel.
The term release means that the person signing understands that they waive their rights to
take legal action against DFAT for its involvement in providing the assistance.
For example, the helicopter pilot has an accident and the evacuee sustains further injuries.
The person signing will not be able to sue DFAT or any of its officers or agents for organising
the helicopter. However, if the crash was due to negligence of the pilot or his company, then
the person signing may sue the pilot or the company providing the helicopter service.
Posts are to invite the person signing the documentation (other than subsistence or travel
document replacement loans) to obtain independent legal advice on their obligations for the
financial assistance provided by DFAT, if reasonably practicable.
It is not necessary for posts to advise a signatory of a subsistence or travel document
replacement loan to obtain legal advice as the loans are usually less than AUD 500 and are,
therefore, considered small enough for recipients to repay in the time allowed.
In principle, applicants for assistance whose financial difficulty has arisen from their own
mismanagement or irresponsibility are not entitled to financial assistance, even if they are
destitute and have no means of support.
In practice, however, there is often no alternative to making a loan to these persons. In these
cases, officers should make only limited, controlled loans, and should guard against the
possibility that these loans merely serve to prolong an overseas stay.

12.3 Personal assistance from consular officers
Officers should not lend their own money to Australian travellers in need of temporary
financial assistance, whatever the circumstances.
Similarly, officers should not, as a matter of principle, offer accommodation, hospitality or
other aid at their homes.

12.4 Who can sign for a loan?
The person signing must be an Australian citizen who is 18 years of age or over and of
sufficient mental capacity.
Under no circumstances are persons under the age of 18 years (minors) or adults of
insufficient mental capacity to sign any documentation pertaining to loans or indemnity.
Australian permanent residents are not able to sign for loans. Exceptions require approval
from the Assistant Secretary, Consular Operations Branch.
Loans to Canadian citizens are only on the conditions specified by the supervising Canadian
mission.
Who can sign a loan on behalf of another adult of sufficient mental capacity?
In most cases, an eligible adult of sufficient mental capacity will sign all documentation on
behalf of themselves. However, there may be instances when a third party adult signs some
or all the documentation.
The following may sign a loan agreement and indemnity documentation on behalf of an adult
of sufficient mental capacity:
       parent
       legal guardian
       family member
       an enduring power of attorney
       friend
       work colleague
       acquaintance.
Subsistence loans and loans for replacement travel documents do not require any indemnity
documentation.
Medical assistance, medical evacuations, repatriations and prisoner loans all require some
indemnity documentation, and prisoner loans require a specific Deed of Undertaking to
Repay to be signed. The documents required for each loan are automatically generated by
SAP. When SAP is not available, posts should contact the Consular Emergency Centre for
advice. In an emergency, blank forms can be printed from the template section of the Satin
Welcome page, under Consular.
Only the adult being assisted may sign a release.
What if there is no one who can sign a loan on behalf of an adult who is unable to
sign?
In some cases medical opinion may be that the person who requires assistance is unable to
sign a loan agreement. If there is no one who can sign a loan on their behalf, assistance
may need to be provided in accordance with Consular Emergency Services.
Who can sign a loan on behalf of an adult of insufficient mental capacity?
Under Australian law, a loan agreement or indemnity and release documentation signed by a
person of insufficient mental capacity to understand the legal obligations and waivers they
are entering into, is not enforceable by DFAT or the Commonwealth. For this reason, loans
must not be made directly to an adult of insufficient mental capacity (with this adult signing
any documentation) as DFAT and the Commonwealth would have no legal recourse to
recover the debt.
The following may sign on behalf of an adult of insufficient mental capacity:
       parent
       legal guardian
       family member
       an enduring power of attorney
       friend
       work colleague
       acquaintance.
Subsistence loans and loans for the replacement of lost/stolen travel documents do not
require indemnity documentation.
Medical assistance, medical evacuations and repatriations all require some form of
indemnity documentation, and prisoner loans require a Deed of Undertaking to Repay to be
signed. The documents required for each loan are automatically generated by SAP. When
SAP is not available posts should contact the Consular Emergency Centre for advice. In an
emergency, blank forms can be printed from the Template section of the Satin Welcome
page, under Consular. Only the adult being assisted may sign a release.
What if there is no one who can sign a loan on behalf of an adult of insufficient mental
capacity?
When there is no one who can sign on behalf of an eligible adult and medical opinion is that
they are of insufficient mental capacity, assistance may need to be provided in accordance
with Consular Emergency Services.
Who can sign a loan on behalf of a minor?
Under Australian law, a minor (a person under the age of 18 years) has no legal capacity to
enter into any loan agreement or to sign indemnity and release documents. For this reason,
loans must not be made directly to the minor (with the minor signing any documentation) as
DFAT and the Commonwealth would have no legal recourse to recover the debt.
The following may sign on behalf of a minor:
       parent
       legal guardian
       family member
       an enduring power of attorney
       friend
       work colleague
       acquaintance.
If the person signing is not an Australian citizen, approval must be given by the Assistant
Secretary, Consular Operations Branch, before funds or documentation are issued. This
situation would normally only apply to a minor who is an Australian citizen but whose parents
or legal guardians are not.
When there is no one who can sign on behalf of an Australian citizen who is a minor,
assistance may need to be provided in accordance with Consular Emergency Services.

12.5 Repayment of loans
Loans may be repaid in full outside Australia at an Australian Embassy, High Commission or
Consulate, or within Australia at a DFAT or Passport Office, or via internet banking, BPay, or
mailed cheque. All repayment records are to be maintained in Australian dollars, using the
receipting office’s applicable conversation rate (spot rate) on the day funds are made
available.
The recipient must present the Undertaking to Repay number and, if possible, their travel
document when making the repayment. The receipting office should not re-issue travel
documents until the funds have been collected from the financial institution, ie. automated
approval of the signed credit card repayment (usually only in Australia) or the receipt of
funds collected from cheques. Because cheques take time to clear, posts and state offices
cannot accept the priority processing fee for a travel document from a client settling an
outstanding loan with a business or personal cheque.
All repayment details on full and partial loans are to be recorded on the last blank leaf of the
signatory’s travel document, directly under the loan details. It is recorded without the dollar
sign and decimal point and enclosed in brackets, which should be hard against the first and
last figures as a precaution to prevent unauthorised alterations. A legible official stamp of the
post or state office must be placed over this hand-written entry. The amount to record is the
AUD amount and is written in the following format.
Receipt number 1234567 for $36.85 repaid in Moscow against Undertaking to Repay No
A00927 would be recorded under the post/state office ‘official stamp’ as follows:
A00927 Moscow (3685 PAID) 1234567
Repayments must be entered into SAP on the day funds are available. Posts should also
send an unclassified cable advising the full name, date of birth, passport number, amount
repaid (in AUD), receipt number and Undertaking to Repay number to enable Passport
Issuing Controls alerts relating to the loan to be removed.
Austrade posts should send repayment details to their accredited DFAT office for entry into
SAP. Accounting procedures for repayments are as per the SAP Help Card.

12.6 Repayment of loans – request for repayment schedule
Due to the nature of financial assistance for medical treatment/medical repatriation, loans
will usually be sizeable (AUD 1,000+).
DFAT must practice due diligence when seeking repayments of loans but, at the same time,
the Department understands that in many cases the loan recipients will have access to
minimal or no funds upon their release from hospital or return to Australia.
DFAT provides the option to repay the loan in instalments. Loan recipients are provided with
the form Guide to Requesting Scheduled Repayments to Repay a Loan which shows the
documentation required to support their request and is available in SAP. When possible, the
recipient should provide:
       current bank statements for any and all their savings accounts
       current statements for any and all credit cards in their name
       statement of any assets
       a current statement of income (may be from an employer or Centrelink but must be
         on the appropriate organisation’s letterhead and dated no earlier than 14 days from
         the request for payment schedule)
       a Statutory Declaration on their monthly expenditure
       a completed form letter stating the recipient’s request for approval to repay the loan
         by a regular schedule of payments. The letter states the amount and the proposed
         schedule.
The recipient is advised that any repayment agreements must be approved by DFAT, and
DFAT has the right to reject requests for repayment schedules and demand payment in full
on the due date.
The recipient is also advised that written notification of the result of their request will be
forwarded to the address provided by the recipient on their initial Request for Repayment
Schedule to Repay a Loan, and that DFAT accepts no responsibility should the recipient not
receive the notification.
Upon approval of a Request for Repayment Schedule, DFAT forwards written advice
outlining:
        the agreed repayment schedule
        where repayments can be made
        the reference number the recipient quotes when making payments
        that should the loan signatory default in their agreed payment schedule, DFAT may
          demand the immediate payment of all outstanding money.
DFAT will use its best endeavours to assess and send notification of the assessment within
30 days of receipt of the initial request.
Should the recipient not receive notification within a reasonable time, it is their responsibility
to contact Consular Operations, DFAT Canberra to enquire about the status of their request.

12.7 Repayment of loan – final scheduled repayments
Upon receipt of the final payment, Passport Issuing Control System is updated to remove
alerts pertaining to the loan.
Chapter 13:            Travellers’ emergency loans
13.1    Eligibility for loans
13.2    Seeking funds from home
13.3    Conditions governing loans
13.4    Explanation of terms and conditions
13.5    Deed of Undertaking to Repay for an adult
13.6    Deed of Undertaking to Repay for a minor/3rd party
13.7    Procedures for loans
13.8    Austrade issuing Travellers’ Emergency Loans
13.9    Undertaking to Repay books
13.10   Checklist subsistence/travel document replacement loan

Consular officers should handle cases of Australian travellers in need of temporary financial
assistance in an emergency with sensitivity, and meet requests for help with sympathy and
compassion. Under certain circumstances, however, claims for help will not be entitled to
assistance. Decisions in this area require consular officers to exercise sound judgment.
While Consular Operations is responsible for authorising additional amounts for subsistence
loans and the use of Consular Services Special Account, responsibility for accounting for
these types of transactions lies with consular officers at post.
Travellers are required to demonstrate that they have made all reasonable efforts to obtain
financial assistance through other means (family, friends, acquaintances, work colleagues
and financial institutions) before they can be considered for financial assistance by DFAT.
With ever-improving systems for the prompt transmission of funds via banks and non-bank
institutions (Amex, Western Union, etc.) the need for subsistence and travel document
replacement loans has reduced and in many countries is negligible. Consular officers should
ensure they are aware of the fastest method of cash transfers within their area of
responsibility.

13.1 Eligibility for loans
To be eligible for financial assistance in an emergency, a person must be an Australian
citizen.
Normally, assistance is restricted to short-term travellers rather than Australian citizens who
live overseas semi-permanently or permanently.
Each person in a family group travelling together, irrespective of age, may receive a loan.
Subsistence loans and travel document replacement loans are intended to assist:
      Australian citizens short of funds for reasons such as:
        o accident or illness
        o delays in travel plans due to lateness or cancellation of aircraft, ship or other
           departures
        o loss or theft of money and/or travel documents
        o delays in receipt of funds or other assets
      destitute Australian citizens awaiting approval for repatriation.
Australians have no legal entitlement to financial assistance from the Australian Government
and loans are made only against signed Deeds of Undertaking to Repay and Indemnity and
Release documentation. Details of loans are recorded in a person’s passport record until
they are repaid. Persons with an outstanding loan are denied a new passport until the loan is
recovered.

13.2    Seeking funds from home
Loans for subsistence and travel document replacement are short-term measures. Loan
signatories are expected to take immediate action to obtain their own funds to repay the loan
from family, relatives, friends or associates, or from financial institutions.
The Australian mission should not serve as a communication channel in the quest for funds.
If travellers cannot make a reverse charge phone call, they should meet the costs of
communications from the loan.
When no public communication channels are available, travellers may use official channels.
In these cases, they must give an Undertaking to Repay the cost of their communication.
In exceptional cases, when it becomes necessary to seek funds on behalf of a traveller,
approaches to possible sources of funds in Australia are usually made only by Consular
Operations in Canberra. Consular officers at posts should not make direct approaches,
except when the possible source of funds is in their consular district. When possible sources
are neither in Australia nor in the actioning post’s territory, the appropriate post should be
asked to make the request for assistance.
Some international financial agencies will cash personal cheques on the authority of the
traveller’s bank, provided the traveller meets the cost of communication.
In rare cases when Consular Operations approve the use of Consular Services Special
Account for transfers from a traveller’s bank or other source (eg. family or friends) the post
may, if necessary, assist by faxing an instruction or statutory declaration to Consular
Operations for forwarding to the client’s bank.
Consular officers may not give any guarantee that could be seen as official Australian
endorsement of the traveller’s credit.
Officers must not accept liens on pensions as, by statute, pensions cannot be assigned. The
same veto applies to Australian superannuation and repatriation benefits. Consular clients
seeking to access pension or superannuation funds or repatriation benefits need to make
arrangements with the institutions concerned. Consular officers can, however, facilitate
communication between clients and the institutions.

13.3 Conditions governing loans
The applicant must prove to the consular officer’s satisfaction that they have made all
reasonable efforts to obtain financial assistance through family, friends, work colleagues,
acquaintances, financial institutions and other sources
Consular officers may approve subsistence and travel document replacement loans on the
following basis
       up to AUD150 at the discretion of the consular officer
       an additional amount equal to the application fee for a new travel document plus any
          associated fees, such as priority processing for lost/stolen travel documents
       any amount above these limits must be approved by Consular Operations, DFAT,
          Canberra. Details of this approval must be recorded in SAP
       applicants for loans must provide satisfactory evidence that they are Australian
          citizens
       if the signatory for the loan is not the recipient, the loan signatory must provide
          satisfactory evidence that they are an Australian citizen
       subsistence and travel document replacement loans should only be granted when
          strictly necessary
       loans may be made to Australian minors under the same conditions as adults. An
          adult must, however, sign the Deed of Undertaking to Repay on behalf of the minor
       the signatory for the loan is fully responsible for repayment, irrespective of whether
          they are the recipient or not.
      no loans are issued unless a Deed of Undertaking to Repay has been signed.
        Indemnity documentation is not required for subsistence or travel document
        replacement loans.

13.4 Explanation of terms and conditions
Prior to signing any paperwork, the DFAT representative reads aloud the following
information to the person signing the documentation
“Do you understand that in signing the legal documentation that:
The total sum owed by you is ………………….
As the person signing you are the person who is responsible for repayment.
Outside Australia, repayments are made at an Australian Embassy, Australian High
Commission or Australian Consulate only.
In Australia, repayments are made at a Passports Office or DFAT office only.
The date on which any and all monies are due to be repaid will be ……………….
As the person signing you are the person who DFAT will pursue for repayment if the loan is
not repaid on time
Repaying by instalments is not usually allowed for loans of less than AUD500.00, however, if
this will cause you significant hardship an application may be made to Consular Coordination
Unit, DFAT, Canberra prior to the date the loan is due for repayment.
As the person signing you are the person in whose passport the loan will be recorded.
As the person signing you will be the one who will be unable to renew or obtain a new
passport until the loan has been repaid, irrespective of whether the financial assistance was
provided to you directly or indirectly, or whether or not you personally received any benefit
from the financial assistance.
In the event of your death, any money still owing will be a debt against your estate.

Any legal action taken by DFAT to pursue the debt will be done through the courts in the
Australian Capital Territory within Australia, irrespective of where you reside.”

        The terms and conditions of the legal documentation have been read and
                 explained to me
        …………………………………
                                                        …………………………………
             printed name of loan signatory                signature of loan signatory


 I …………………………………….. have read and explained the Terms and
 Conditions of
 (printed name of DFAT Representative)

 the legal documentation to the person signing on / / at the time of
 …………………………




13.5 Deed of Undertaking to Repay for an adult
This Deed is used for adults signing for the loan on their own behalf. This means they are
the one who is receiving the loan.
                                         DEED OF UNDERTAKING TO REPAY

                   TRAVELLER’S EMERGENCY LOAN FOR AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN



I, …………………………………………………………………………………………………………
(First name, middle initial, family name)


of ............................................................................................................................................
                                      (Permanent address-Australia or overseas)

born in the town of ………………..……… in the country of ………………………… on / /


holder of Australian Passport or other travel document number …………………………


issued at …………………………………. on / /


do hereby acknowledge the receipt of …………..…… (being the equivalent of AUD ……..….)


for the purpose(s) of ...............................................................................................................
            (Insert any or all the following - Subsistence, Travel Docs, Passports,
Accommodation, Other-specify)
from the ..................................................................................................................................
                   (Full Name of Embassy/High Commission/Consulate/Mission)
who are authorised to act for and on behalf of the Australian Government.
I acknowledge that the sums lent to me under this arrangement are the local currency
equivalents of Australian dollars and I will repay these Australian dollar sums directly and
without reference to local exchange rates. Outside Australia, repayments will be made at an
Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. Within Australia repayments will be
made at a Passports or DFAT office.
I will repay all sums lent to me under this arrangement. I will make this repayment in full
within two months of the date hereof. I acknowledge that the sums lent to me under this
arrangement constitute a debt recoverable by DFAT in courts with jurisdiction.
I acknowledge that no further Australian passport may be issued until the loan described
above has been repaid.
This Deed is entered into for myself, my executors, administrators and other personal
representatives and I intend that the provisions of this Deed shall be enforceable against my
estate in the event of my death.
The law of this Deed is the law applicable in the Australian Capital Territory and I submit to
the non exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts having jurisdiction in the Australian Capital
Territory.
I understand and acknowledge that this Deed constitutes my official notification of a request
for repayment and that no further correspondence will be sent by DFAT unless this loan
goes into arrears.

EXECUTED as a Deed


Dated…………………………………..
         (dd month yyyy)



SIGNED SEALED AND DELIVERED                                               }
                                                                          } ………………………………………..…….
by                                                                        }             (signature of Recipient)


in the presence of



…………………………….................                                              …………………………….................

(printed name of authorised DFAT                                          (signature of authorised DFAT
representative)                                                           representative)




13.6       Deed of Undertaking to Repay on behalf of a minor/3 rd party




                                         DEED OF UNDERTAKING TO REPAY

     TRAVELLER’S EMERGENCY LOAN ON BEHALF OF A MINOR OR THIRD PARTY

I, .............................................................................................................................................
(First name, middle initial, family name)

of ............................................................................................................................................
                                      (Permanent address-Australia or overseas)

born in the town of ………………..……… in the country of ………………………… on / /
holder of Australian Passport or other travel document number …………………………


issued at …………………………………. on / /


do hereby acknowledge the receipt of …………..…… (being the equivalent of AUD ……..….)

on behalf of:

 ...............................................................................................................................................
(First name, middle initial, family name of MINOR)

born in the town of ………………..……… in the country of ………………………… on / /


holder of Australian Passport or other travel document number .............................................


for the purpose(s) of ...............................................................................................................
             (Insert any or all the following - Subsistence, Travel Docs, Passports,
Accommodation, Other-specify)
from the ..................................................................................................................................
                   (Full Name of Embassy/High Commission/Consulate/Mission)

who are authorised to act for and on behalf of the Australian Government.
I am the above named minor’s legal parent/guardian/kin.
I acknowledge that the sums lent to me on behalf of the above named minor under this
arrangement are the local currency equivalents of Australian dollars and I will repay these
Australian dollar sums directly and without reference to local exchange rates. Outside
Australia repayments will be made at an Australian Embassy, High Commission or
Consulate. Within Australia repayments will be made at a Passports or DFAT office.
I will repay all sums lent to me on behalf of the above named minor under this arrangement.
I will make this repayment in full within two months of the date hereof. I acknowledge that the
sums lent to me on behalf of the above named minor under this arrangement constitute a
debt recoverable against me by DFAT in courts with jurisdiction.
I acknowledge that no further Australian passport may be issued to me until the loan
described above has been repaid.
This Deed is entered into for myself, my executors, administrators and other personal
representatives and I intend that the provisions of this Deed shall be enforceable against my
estate in the event of my death.
The law of this Deed is the law applicable in the Australian Capital Territory and I submit to
the non exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts having jurisdiction in the Australian Capital
Territory.
I understand and acknowledge that this Deed constitutes my official notification of a request
for repayment and that no further correspondence will be sent by DFAT unless this loan
goes into arrears.

EXECUTED as a Deed
Dated…………………………………..
         (dd month yyyy)

SIGNED SEALED AND DELIVERED                       }
                                                  } ………………………………………..…….

by                                                }        (signature of person signing for
                                                           loan)

in the presence of



…………………………….................                      …………………………….................

(printed name of authorised DFAT                  (signature of authorised DFAT
representative)                                   representative)




13.7 Procedures for loans
Before posts disburse funds they are to observe the following procedures:
          check the applicant’s status in Passport Issuing Control System
          check the applicant’s passport for previous loans or irregularities
          interview the applicant to establish that a small loan will be sufficient to assist in
           overcoming their short-term financial difficulty and they will not be likely to seek
           further financial assistance from the post or another Australian mission overseas
          enter details into SAP following the instructions on the SAP Help Card and, in
           particular, select the correct loan type. SAP will generate the Undertaking to
           Repay number and automatically complete information in the documentation.
           Documentation is then printed from SAP
          if the signatory for the loan is not the recipient, the signatory must provide
           satisfactory evidence that they are an Australian citizen or the consular officer
           will be required to obtain approval from Consular Operations for a non-Australian
           citizen to sign for the loan.
The initial loan should be limited to the sum necessary to tide the applicant over the difficulty.
The post should make every effort to obtain and sight evidence of the loan recipient’s or the
loan signatory’s permanent address in Australia. When loan recipients are not able to
provide a permanent address, they should be asked to provide an alternative address (eg.
the permanent address of their nominated contact) through which the loan recipient could be
contacted to recover the debt.
The time limit for repayment of a subsistence or travel document replacement loans is within
two months of the date the Undertaking to Repay was signed.
Posts may issue loans without reference to Consular Operations, provided they do not
exceed a total per person of AUD150 (plus any amount lent for Australian travel document
fees), irrespective of where the loan is made. For loans greater than AUD150 per person,
prior approval must been obtained from Consular Operations.
A Deed of Undertaking to Repay, automatically generated from SAP with a Undertaking to
Repay number and loan details, must be completed for each new loan.
Pre-printed and numbered Undertaking to Repay receipt books are retained by posts for use
in an emergency or when SAP is not available. The loan record is in Australian dollars, using
the conversion rate (spot rate) applicable on the day of the loan. The Deed of Undertaking to
Repay and other loan documentation can be printed from this handbook.
The DFAT representative (normally a consular officer) reads aloud the Explanation of Terms
and Conditions to the person signing for the loan. The person signs it as an
acknowledgement that they understand the terms and conditions. The DFAT representative
prints and signs their name and writes the time and date on which the terms and conditions
were explained.
The signatory of the loan signs the Deed of Undertaking to Repay in duplicate, and the
DFAT representative ensures the signature appears on all copies.
One copy of the Deed is retained by the consular section at post and a copy is given to the
signatory. The signatory is advised that this copy is their only advice on the amount of the
loan and no further correspondence will be entered into, unless the loan goes into default.
The loan is recorded on the last blank leaf of the passport without the dollar sign and
decimal point and enclosed in brackets, which should be hard against the first and last
figures as a precaution against unauthorised alterations. The amount recorded is the AUD
amount and is written in the following format:
      AUD36.85 lent in Moscow against Undertaking to Repay No. A00927 would be
       recorded as:
       A00927 Moscow (3685).
       The amount enclosed within the brackets is to be the same as the total in SAP.
Posts must enter details into SAP before the travellers’ emergency loan is issued.
Accounting procedures for loans follow the SAP Help Card.

13.8 Austrade issuing Travellers’ Emergency Loans
Austrade consular officers should contact their supervising DFAT mission to advise that they
wish to issue a travellers’ emergency loan for a specific AUD amount:
       fax them the client’s personal details (including passport number and Australian
         address) requesting creation of a loan in the DFAT SAP Consular Loans Module.
         (The DFAT office will need to select the Austrade office as the vendor when
         creating the loan so reimbursement is made in country. If vendor for Austrade office
         does not already exist, the DFAT office will need to create the vendor record)
       The DFAT office should fax the loan documents generated in SAP Consular Loans
         Module to the Austrade Office for completion, including the client's signature
       The Austrade Office may then issue the laon to the client in local currency. The
         completed documentation should be returned to the supervising mission.

13.9 Undertaking to Repay books
These books are accountable forms for use during an emergency or when SAP is not
available.
When a book of pre-printed Undertaking to Repay is completed, it should be forwarded to
Crisis Management Section.
New books can be obtained from Crisis Management Section in Canberra with a written
request by email or cable.

13.10 Checklist subsistence/travel document replacement loan
The checklist is for consular officers issuing subsistence and travel document replacement
loans. Staff issuing these loans should, in addition to the items in the checklist, ensure they
are fully familiar with all guidance in this chapter.

1      Is Australian Citizenship proven? (by passport/travel document/PICS)

2      Is the recipient a short term traveller? (usually not a long term o/s resident)

       Is the Consular Officer satisfied that the recipient is unable to obtain financial assistance by
3      other means?
       (family, friends, acquaintances, banks, travel insurance, financial institutions)

       Does the recipient have any current DFAT loans, irrespective of where the loan was made?
4
       (checked passport/travel document/PICS/asked Traveller)

       Does the recipient’s shortness of funds fall into one of the following categories:
       (i)     accident or illness
       (ii)    delays in travel plans due to lateness or cancellation of aircraft, ship or other
               departures
5
       (iii)   delays in receipt of funds or other assets
       (iv)    destitute Australians awaiting approval for repatriation
       (v)     loss or theft of money and/or travel documents
               (loan issued under separate Undertaking to Repay from (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv))

       Is the loan for subsistence (equal to or less than AUD150.00)?
6a     (Traveller interviewed and has approval of A-based consular officer)

       Is the loan for subsistence (greater than AUD150.00)?
       (has approval been received from Conops in Canberra PRIOR to loan being issued)
6b
       Name of Conops Officer………………………………………..……Date / / Time………….

       Is the loan for a replacement passport and/or travel documentation?
7a     (loan issued under separate Undertaking to Repay from any other loan(s))

7b     Has the lost/stolen passport number been obtained?

       Is the loan being taken out on behalf of a minor? (Responsible adult to sign UTR)
8
       (proof required that the adult is the minor’s legal parent/guardian)

9      Have the loan details been recorded in SAP and forms printed?

       Has a Deed of Undertaking to Repay and a form been signed?
10a
       (ensure the Signatory is 18+ years old and that signature is on all copies)

10b    Has the signatory been read the terms and conditions? (As per Chapter 40)

11     Has the loan been recorded in the signatory’s passport?



Chapter 14:              Medical treatment and medical evacuation
14.1   Conditions
14.2   Procedures
14.3   Repayment of loan
14.4    Financial safeguards for medical repatriation
14.5    Checklist medical assistance

Given the number of Australians routinely travelling overseas, it is important to recommend
that all Australian travellers take out travel insurance.
Policies are available in most countries, but careful prior scrutiny of the benefits is suggested
to ensure that they cover the traveller’s particular activities and the countries to be visited.
Particular note should be taken of any limits of liability, such as:
      pre-existing medical conditions
      participation in sports considered high risk, such as snow skiing, scuba diving and
        hang-gliding
      cost of accompanying next-of-kin when hospitalisation of a partner necessitates an
        extension to their overseas stay
      provisions in certain policies that benefits are on a reimbursement basis only, which
        might impose a significant cash up front burden on clients
      restriction of medical evacuation to the country where the policy was written and
        not to Australia
      claims with negligence as a significant factor.
In some countries, medical authorities will not accept patients, however urgent the need,
until assured of payment.
Travellers are to seek financial assistance through all other means (family, friends,
acquaintances, work colleagues and financial institutions) prior to financial assistance by
DFAT.
If the traveller has travel insurance, the post is to ensure that the traveller’s situation is not
covered by the policy prior to DFAT providing financial assistance.

14.1 Conditions
The recipient must be an Australian citizen. Normally assistance is restricted to short-term
travellers, rather than Australians who live overseas semi-permanently or permanently.
The need for treatment is clearly urgent and delay could be to the serious detriment to the
health of the patient.
A Director of Consular Operations is convinced by medical opinion that the case must be
treated at once. Medical opinion must be in writing and on letterhead of the medical
practitioner or hospital.
Normally, a loan covering medical and/or hospitalisation costs is approved only to render the
traveller fit to fly as part of a DFAT-funded repatriation package. Consular officers should
avoid recommending loans to cover medical/hospital costs that are not part of a repatriation
package. Arrangements to pay costs that are not part of a repatriation package are a matter
for negotiation between the traveller, their family, friends or other supporters, and treating
doctors and the hospital. A DFAT loan is only considered as a last resort in these
circumstances.
If the loan is to cover a medical evacuation, a Director of Consular Operations (or when the
cost of the evacuation exceeds AUD50,000, the Assistant Secretary, Consular Operations
Branch) must be satisfied by medical opinion in writing from the treating doctor that the
traveller’s medical evacuation is urgently required to address a serious threat to their health,
and medically safe to proceed.
Details must be entered into SAP and Undertaking to Repay, and printed SAP forms must
be signed prior to committing any funds.
The post should make every effort to obtain and sight evidence of the loan recipient’s
permanent address in Australia. When loan recipients are not able to provide a permanent
address, they should be requested to provide another address (eg. the permanent address
of their nominated contact) through which the loan recipient could be contacted in case
issues arise with debt recovery.
If the recipient is not signing for the funds, they are still to sign legal documentation if they
are physically and mentally able.
If the recipient is unable to sign, legal and SAP documentation must be signed by family or
friends who are Australian citizens and travelling with the patient or living in Australia. This
must be done before any funds are committed and may be done by facsimile. Alternatively,
oral approval may be obtained from a Director of Consular Operations if extremely urgent
treatment is required.

14.2 Procedures
Before committing any funds the post:
      checks the applicant’s status in Passport Issuing Control System
      checks the applicant’s passport for previous loans or irregularities
      checks that written medical advice has been obtained, that the need for treatment is
         urgent and delay could be to the serious detriment to the health of the patient
      checks with the patient or relatives/friends whether the patient has travel insurance
      if the patient has travel insurance, checks whether it will cover the medical
         treatment/medical evacuation to Australia (obtain this information from the
         insurance company in writing)
      obtains names of relatives or friends who may be able to assist with the cost of the
         medical assistance/medical evacuation
      obtains an itemised quote for the cost of treatment and hospitalisation
      if medical evacuation is required, obtains an itemised quote for the cost of evacuation
         to Australia
      obtains written approval from Consular Operations to expend the funds
      enters details into SAP following the instructions on the SAP Help Card. SAP
         generates the Undertaking to Repay number and automatically completes
         information in the documentation. Documentation, which is then printed from SAP,
         needs a signature from the patient and/or relatives or friends who are Australian
         citizens or, in an extreme emergency, oral approval by a Director of Consular
         Operations
      a DFAT representative (normally the consular officer) reads aloud to the person
         signing for the loan the Terms and Conditions, has the person sign the Terms and
         Conditions paper, and prints and signs their own name, and writes the time and
         date. This form is retained by the post as a legal document
      a DFAT representative reads aloud to the loan recipient the Explanation of the
         Indemnity, has the person sign the explanation paper, prints and signs their own
         names, and writes the time and date. This form is retained at the post as a legal
         document
      the loan is recorded on the last blank leaf of the passport of the person signing for
         the loan (loan signatory). It is recorded without the dollar sign and decimal point and
         enclosed in brackets, which should be hard against the first and last figures to
         prevent unauthorised alterations. The amount recorded is the AUD amount and is
         written in the following format,
         eg. AUD36.85 lent in Moscow against Undertaking to Repay No. A00927 would be
         recorded as:
         A00927 Moscow (3685).
       one copy of the Deed of Undertaking to Repay and the legal documentation is given
         to the signatory and one copy retained by the consular section at post as a legal
         document
       advise the loan signatory that their copy of the indemnity documentation is the only
         advice that they will receive on the money owed, unless the loan goes into default
       advise the loan signatory that they may request a payment schedule and provide
         appropriate documentation, while ensuring they are fully aware of the timeframes
         for making the request, and there is no guarantee that the request will be granted.
The responsibility to repay the loan lies with the person signing the loan documentation,
whether or not they are the recipient of the loan or receive any benefit from the loan.
Authority to commit official funds for medical assistance/medical evacuation lies with either a
Director of Consular Operations or the Assistant Secretary of Consular Operations Branch.
No funds are to be committed by posts for medical assistance/medical evacuation without
referral to a Director of Consular Operations or the Assistant Secretary, Consular Operations
Branch.
When a Director of Consular Operations approves the commitment of funds for initial care
and treatment and not for a prolonged stay in hospital, the post must ensure that the hospital
is clear about the extent of the Australian Government’s liability, as some hospitals may not
accept what they may see as only a partial guarantee.
In some countries, hospitals will refuse to release patients unless all charges have been
paid. In these cases, the onus of payment must rest with the patient. Any other
arrangements for payment must have Consular Operations approval.

14.3 Repayment of loan
Loans for medical assistance and medical evacuation are due for repayment six months
from the date of the loan, unless otherwise agreed between DFAT and the debtor.

14.4 Financial safeguards for medical repatriation
When effecting a medical evacuation, in addition to having the applicant complete the
relevant forms, the post will, if possible, arrange through Consular Operations for relatives or
friends in Australia or elsewhere to provide supporting guarantees of full repayment.
Persons indebted to the Commonwealth Government for costs of medical evacuation are,
when possible, to have their new travel document restricted in validity. This is to prevent
them from going overseas again before repaying their debt. If a travel document needs to be
issued for the journey to Australia, it should be a Document of Identity that is valid only for a
single journey to Australia and endorsed as 'Valid for one-way travel to Australian only’.
When the travel document must be a passport, it should have limited validity and be similarly
endorsed.
If the person evacuated is a dual national and does not hold an Australian passport, but
carries a passport issued by another country, that passport should not be endorsed. The
consular officer should seek to ensure that it is surrendered to the nearest representative of
the country of issue. However, it should be noted that the consular officer has no legal power
to compel a dual national to surrender their other passport. The consular officer should then
issue a Document of Identity, valid only for the single journey to Australia.
When a consular officer arranges the travel booking for a person being medically evacuated,
the ticket should be endorsed 'Voluntary re-routing not permitted' and 'Refund sponsor only'.
This safeguards DFAT against an attempt by the traveller to vary the itinerary or obtain a
refund.
Tickets will normally be purchased by the post. However, if a post sees a financial
advantage in other arrangements, Consular Operations is to be consulted.
Costs of medical evacuation should be entered on SAP and charged according to the
instructions on the SAP Help Card.

14.5 Checklist medical assistance
The checklist is for consular officers issuing medical assistance and medical evacuation
loans. Staff issuing these loans should, in addition to the items in the checklist, ensure they
are fully familiar with all guidance in this chapter.

1     Is Australian Citizenship proven? (by passport/travel document/PICS)                   Yes / No

2     Is the recipient a short term traveller? (usually not a long term o/s resident)        Yes / No

      Does the recipient have Travel Insurance that will cover their situation?
3                                                                                            Yes / No
      (obtain information from Travel Insurance firm in writing)

      Is the Consular Officer satisfied that the recipient is unable to obtain financial
4     assistance by other means?                                                             Yes / No
      (family, friends, acquaintances, banks, financial institutions)

      Is the post satisfied that Medical Treatment/Medical Repatriation is appropriate?      Yes / No
56
      (written documentation from doctor and/or hospital required)

      Has the post worked out costs by obtaining itemised quotes:
                   1) the cost of treatment and hospitalisation                              Yes / No

6                  and/or
                   2)   for the cost repatriation?                                           Yes / No
                   (written documentation required for 1) and 2))

      Has the Director Consular Operations approved the expenditure of funds?
7     (approval received by cable or fax, or in extreme emergencies verbally from            Yes / No
      Director Consular Operations)
8     Haveloan details been entered into SAP and forms printed?                              Yes / No

      Has acknowledgement and Legal documentation and UTR been signed by:
              The recipient                                                                 Yes / No

9         OR
              Relatives or friends who are Australian citizens?                             Yes / No

          (ensure the signatory is 18+ years old and that signature is on all copies)
      Have the Terms and Conditions been read out loud to the person signing for the
      loan? And have they signed?
10                                                                                           Yes / No

      If the Adult Recipient is not signing for the loan, has the Explanation of Indemnity
11    been read out loud to the Recipient? And have they signed?                             Yes / No

      Has a copy of the Acknowledgement and Indemnity docs been given to the loan
12    signatory?                                                                             Yes / No
       Has the loan signatory been given documentation regarding payment schedule         Yes / No
13
       requests

14     Has the loan amount been recorded in AUD in the loan signatory’s passport?         Yes / No



Chapter 15:             Repatriation
15.1   Conditions
15.2   Procedures
15.3   Terms and conditions
15.4   Repayment of loan
15.5   Financial safeguards
15.6   Checklist repatriation

Repatriation provisions are designed to assist Australians temporarily overseas who need to
return to Australia, but are unable through unavoidable misfortune, to finance their return.

15.1 Conditions
Repatriation is approved only for Australian citizens who are unable to meet the cost of their
return to Australia.
The applicant must show that they have attempted unsuccessfully to receive aid, in the form
of money or a pre-paid ticket from relatives, friends or other sources.
The applicant should have left Australia for short-term travel and, through unavoidable
misfortune, be unable to pay for their return to Australia.
Unless there are compelling reasons, the Department will not approve a repatriation loan for
travellers who have made no provision for their return or settled overseas permanently or
long term.
Repatriation which would result in the separation of a family is not generally approved.
When children and one parent only are involved, repatriation is only approved when it is
established that the other parent consents to the repatriation of the children, or the applicant
has legal custody of all relevant children and the legal right to remove them from the country
of present residence.
Acknowledgement and indemnity documentation and Undertaking to Repay forms must be
signed by the recipient or by family or friends who fulfil the conditions, prior to funds being
committed.
The post should make every effort to obtain and sight evidence of the loan recipient’s
permanent address in Australia. When loan recipients are not able to provide a permanent
address, another address (for example the permanent address of their nominated contact)
should be provided for contacting the loan recipient in case issues arise with debt recovery.
If the recipient is not signing for the funds, they must still sign legal documentation if they are
physically and mentally able. The person signing for the funds is to sign Acknowledgement
and Indemnity documentation and, if possible, the Undertaking to Repay.
If the recipient is unable to sign, indemnity documentation and a Undertaking to Repay must
be signed by family or friends who are Australian citizens and travelling with the patient or
living in Australia. This undertaking must be obtained prior to committing any funds and may
be done by facsimile. Alternatively, oral approval may be obtained from a Director of
Consular Operations if repatriation is extremely urgent.

15.2    Procedures
The applicant must present a strong case to the post by demonstrating:
      they are Australian citizens
      departure from Australia was relatively recent
      their intention to return to Australia can be demonstrated by, for example:
           o close family living in Australia
           o the ownership of real estate or personal property
           o written confirmation of a permanent job offer
      they made provision for their return travel in the form of a return ticket, but due to
        unavoidable misfortune that return facility is no longer available and there are no
        sources of money in Australia or elsewhere from family, friends or charitable
        organisations
      when children are involved and only one parent is seeking repatriation, the other
        parent has consented to the children’s repatriation, or the parent seeking
        repatriation has legal custody of all relevant children and the legal right to remove
        them from the country of present residence. Documentary evidence must support
        this.
The applicant must present a scenario of government assistance as the last resort. This
assistance is not to be seen as simply a service.
Not all requests for repatriation need to be referred to the Department. Posts make an initial
assessment of the request and have the authority to, and are expected to, reject applications
that they believe do not sufficiently meet the criteria.
When the post supports the request for repatriation at Commonwealth Government expense,
they forward the following details by cable to Consular Operations for a decision:
                     full name, date and place of birth, and for those born outside Australia,
         period of residence in Australia
                     number, date and place of issue of Australian travel document
                     name of nominated contact and present address
                     names, ages, dates and places of birth of any children and their
         whereabouts
                     name and date of birth of spouse and whereabouts
                     date of departure from Australia and reason for travel
                     provision for return fares
                     reasons for inability to pay. The post should verify this and other
         information
                     particulars of assets in Australia, especially a house, land or furniture in
         storage, which would be evidence of an intention to return
                     details of any credit cards and life insurance/endowment policies, and
         possibility of raising a loan
                     names and addresses of financial guarantors or any other person or
         organisation that could be approached for assistance. These details must be
         supplied, even if the applicant claims these people have already been approached
         by them, but are unable to assist. Consular Operations will make further contact
         with these people to try and gain their assistance
                     estimated cost of repatriation (in AUD) including airfares, transportation
         to airport, departure taxes, stopover costs, etc
                     when children are involved, whether and where they attend school,
         whether they are prevented from attending school by language or other
         considerations, and whether they are disadvantaged in other respects
                   when children are involved, documentary proof that the adult with them
       is their parent or legal guardian and they have the legal right to remove the children
       from the country
                   whether the applicant has dual citizenship
                   any other relevant information
                   any other comment by post.

If repatriation is approved, the post will be informed and will be required to:
           enter details into SAP following the instructions on the SAP Help Card. SAP will
              generate the Undertaking to Repay number and automatically complete
              information in the documentation which is then printed from SAP
           have the recipient sign indemnity documentation, or have family or friends who
              are Australian citizens, sign
           the signatory of the loan is to be given one copy of the indemnity documentation
              and one copy is retained at post as a legal document
           a DFAT representative reads aloud to the person signing for the loan the Terms
              and Conditions of the loan, has the person sign the Terms and Conditions paper,
              and the DFAT representative prints their own name, signs and writes the time
              and date
           a DFAT representative reads aloud to the recipient the Explanation of the Legal
              documentation, has the person sign the Explanation paper, and the DFAT
              representative prints their own name and writes the time and date
           advise the loan signatory that their copy of the indemnity documentation is the
              only advice that they will receive on money owed, unless the loan goes into
              default
           advise the loan signatory that they may request a payment schedule and provide
              them with the appropriate documentation ensuring that they are fully aware of
              the time frames for making the request and that there is no guarantee that the
              request will be granted.

If repatriation is approved, the post may also be required to:
           arrange travel at the cheapest rate available, including airport and departure
              taxes
           provide the recipient with a loan for the minimum funds for sustenance during
              travel
           advise the Department of the arrangements
           when possible, restrict the validity of the loan signatory’s passport.

15.3 Terms and conditions
Prior to any paperwork being signed, the DFAT representative is to read aloud the following
information to the person signing the documentation
“Do you understand that in signing the legal documentation that:
The total sum owed by you is ………………….
As the person signing you are the person who is responsible for repayment
Outside Australia, repayments are to be made at an Australian Embassy, Australian High
Commission or Australian Consulate only
Within Australia, repayments are to be made at a Passports Office or DFAT office only
The date on which any and all monies are due to be repaid will be ……………….
As the person signing you are the person who DFAT will pursue for repayment if the loan is
not repaid on time
Repaying by instalments is not usually allowed for loans of less than $500.00, however, if
this will cause you significant hardship then an application may be put to Consular
Coordination Unit, DFAT, Canberra prior to the date the loan is due to be repaid.
As the person signing you are the person in whose passport the loan will be recorded.
As the person signing you will be the one who will be unable to renew or obtain a new
passport until the loan has been repaid, irrespective of whether the financial assistance was
provided to you directly or indirectly, or whether or not you personally received any benefit
from the financial assistance.
That in the event of your death, any money still owing will be a debt against your estate.
That any legal action taken by DFAT to pursue the debt will be done through the courts in
the Australian Capital Territory within Australia irrespective of where you reside.”
 The Terms and Conditions of the legal documentation have been read and
 explained to me
        …………………………………
                                                    …………………………………
         printed name of loan signatory                signature of loan signatory


 I …………………………………….. have read and explained the Terms and
 Conditions of
 (printed name of DFAT Representative)

 the legal documentation to the person signing on / / at the time of
 …………………………



15.4 Repayment of loan
For information on methods of and locations for repayments see Chapter 425
Loans for repatriation are due for repayment six months from the date of the loan, unless
otherwise agreed between DFAT and the debtor.

15.5 Financial safeguards
Posts, when effecting repatriation, in addition to having the applicant complete the relevant
forms, will if possible, arrange through Consular Operations for relatives or friends in
Australia or elsewhere to provide supporting guarantees of full repayment.
Persons indebted to the Commonwealth Government for costs of repatriation are, when
possible, to have their new travel document restricted in validity. This prevents them from
going overseas again before repaying their debt. If a travel document needs to be issued for
the journey to Australia, preferably it should be a Document of Identity and valid only for a
single journey to Australia and endorsed as: 'Valid for one-way travel to Australia only'.
When the travel document must be a passport, it should have limited validity and be similarly
endorsed.
If the person repatriated is a dual national and does not hold an Australian passport but
carries a passport issued by another country, that passport should not be endorsed. The
consular officer should seek to ensure that it is surrendered to the nearest representative of
the country of issue. However, it should be noted that the consular officer has no legal power
to compel a dual national to surrender their other passport. The consular officer should then
issue a Document of Identity, valid only for the single repatriation journey to Australia.
When a consular officer arranges the travel booking for a person being repatriated, the ticket
should be endorsed 'Voluntary re-routing not permitted' and 'Refund sponsor only'. This
safeguards DFAT against any attempt by the traveller to vary the itinerary or obtain a refund.
Tickets will normally be purchased by the post. However, if a post sees a financial
advantage in other arrangements, Consular Operations is to be consulted.
Costs of repatriation should be entered on SAP and charged according to the instructions on
the SAP Help Card.

15.6 Checklist repatriation
The checklist is for consular officers issuing repatriation loans. Staff issuing these loans
should, in addition to the items in the checklist, ensure that they are fully familiar with all
guidance in this chapter.

1     Is Australian Citizenship proven? (by passport/travel document/PICS)                   Yes / No

2     Is the recipient a short term traveller? (usually not a long term overseas resident)   Yes / No

      Does the recipient have Travel Insurance that will cover their situation?
3                                                                                            Yes / No
      (obtain information from Travel Insurance firm in writing)

      Is the Consular Officer satisfied that the recipient is unable to obtain financial
4     assistance by other means?                                                             Yes / No
      (family, friends, acquaintances, banks, financial institutions)

      If minors are involved:
      will this repatriation result in the separation of family? and                         Yes / No
5     does the adult have legal custody of the minor(s)? and                                 Yes / No
      does the adult have the legal right to remove the minor(s) from the country?
      (documentary proof required)                                                           Yes / No

6     Is the post satisfied that repatriation is appropriate?                                Yes / No

      Has the post worked out costs by obtaining itemised quotes for the cost                Yes / No
7     repatriation? (written documentation required)

      Has the post cabled CON with the full details including:
8     why the need for repatriation                                                          Yes / No
      recipients assets
      costs
      Has CON approved the expenditure of funds?
9                                                                                            Yes / No
      (approval received by cable or fax)

      Have loan details been entered into SAP and forms printed?
10    (follow instructions on the SAP Help Card)                                             Yes / No
      Have Deed and Undertaking to Repay been signed by:
      the recipient?; OR
11    their legal parent/guardian or responsible adult Australian citizen?                   Yes / No
      (ensure the signatory is 18+ years old and that the signature is on all copies)
      Has the signatory been read out and signed the Explanation of Terms and
12a   Conditions?                                                                            Yes / No
       If the recipient is not the loan signatory, have they been read out and signed the
12b    Explanation of Indemnity and Release?                                                Yes / No

13     Has the loan amount been recorded in AUD in the signatory’s passport?                Yes / No

       Have Deed and Undertaking to Repay been signed by:
       the recipient?; OR                                                                   Yes / No
11     their legal parent/guardian or responsible adult Australian citizen?
         (ensure the signatory is 18+ years old and that the signature is on all copies)

       Has the signatory been read out and signed the Explanation of Terms and
12a    Conditions?                                                                          Yes / No

       If the recipient is not the loan signatory, have they been read out and signed the
12b    Explanation of Indemnity and Release?                                                Yes / No

13     Has the loan amount been recorded in AUD in the signatory’s passport?                Yes / No


Chapter 16:              Prisoners
16.1    Transfer of funds for prisoners
16.2    Overview of prisoner loans
16.3    Conditions governing prisoner loans
16.4    Procedures for prisoner loans for adult signing on own behalf
16.5    Procedures for prisoner loans on behalf of a minor or third party
16.6    Repayment of loan
16.7    Checklist prisoner loan

16.1 Transfer of funds for prisoners
At many posts prisoners are able, with the cooperation of prison authorities, to operate
commercial bank accounts to receive funds from family and friends. Consular officers should
encourage this.
Transfer of funds through posts (Consular Services Special Account) should only be used in
the following circumstances:
       commercial channels are unsatisfactory or when prisoners do not have access to
          them
       new prisoners and prisoners serving sentences of up to six months
       those who cannot manage their own finances.
Use of Consular Services Special Account in these circumstances attracts the standard
consular fee.

16.2 Overview of prisoner loans
Australian prisoners in foreign prisons where adequate food and other essentials (such as
bedding, cooking utensils, clothing, soap, etc.) are not provided may be eligible to receive a
fully repayable loan. Eligibility is restricted to prisoners in systems where the post can
demonstrate a need for financial assistance and the prisoners are Australian citizens.
Perceived deprivations specific to particular prisoners do not constitute a case for financial
support. Deprivations justifying provision of assistance in a particular country must be
common to all prisoners.
Posts must demonstrate to the Department that the penal system in a particular country
does not provide adequately for prisoners. A comprehensive statement setting out the
deficiencies of the local prison system, including lack of access to funds through local
commercial systems, ie. Automatic Teller Machines (ATM), banks etc., should be submitted
to Consular Operations Section. No commitments should be made to prisoners about the
availability of loans until the Department has agreed to include that country in the scheme.
Countries currently in the Prisoner Loan Scheme are:

              Argentina                        Indonesia
              Benin                            Kenya
              Bolivia                          Laos
              Brazil                           Nepal
              Burma                            Pakistan
              Cambodia                         Peru
              Chile                            Philippines
              Colombia                         Thailand
              Costa Rica                       Vietnam
              Ecuador                          Vanuatu
              India                            Zimbabwe

Following Departmental approval for a country to be included in the loan scheme, posts may
make individual approvals without prior reference to the Department, provided prisoners
meet the eligibility criteria.

16.3 Conditions governing prisoner loans
To be eligible for a prisoner loan:
      the prisoner must be an Australian citizen. In the case of a person holding one or
         more other citizenships, the prisoner must not be receiving funds provided by
         another government
      the prisoner must be or is being detained with the likelihood of becoming a long-
         term prisoner. The benefits of this policy are not intended to apply to people whose
         detention will clearly be brief
      the post must believe that the prisoner has at least some requirement for
         assistance. A person who obviously has a high level of financial support, or is able
         to earn sufficient to meet needs, would not be eligible. Posts should, however, be
         alert to changes that occur in a prisoner’s financial circumstances. Doubtful cases
         should be referred to Consular Operations Section for a decision
      the prisoner or loan signatory must clearly understand that the payment is a loan
         and be prepared to sign an Deed of Undertaking to Repay. The person should be
         told that under the provisions of the Australian Passports Act 2005 a passport may
         be refused to the debtor until the debt to the Commonwealth is repaid
      the prisoner or loan signatory must agree to sign an Acknowledgment of Receipt of
         Funds paid in the previous three months. If a prisoner refuses to sign this
         acknowledgment, no further payment of the loan should be made.
Posts should make every effort to obtain and sight evidence of the loan recipient’s
permanent address in Australia. When loan recipients are unable to provide a permanent
address, the loan recipient should be requested to provide another address, for example the
permanent address of their nominated contact, through which the loan recipient could be
contacted in case issues arise with debt recovery.
The maximum amount of each loan will be AUD125 per month plus a maximum of AUD20
per month for medical expenses (last revised March 1999). Sums have been set in
Australian dollars to simplify calculation of the total amount of the loan. This means,
however, that amounts in local currency will vary from payment to payment.
To minimise the administrative burden on posts, it is preferable to pay the money quarterly
into each prisoner’s prison account regularly. The maximum amount per quarter is the local
equivalent of AUD375 plus the equivalent of AUD60 for medical expenses.
Posts should ensure that local arrangements for payments to prisoners meet the following
guidelines to ensure delivery of the funds to the prisoner, maintain safeguards, prevent
misuse of funds and minimise the administrative burden on posts. Funds should normally be
paid into prison-controlled accounts in the prisoner’s name. If there are no prison-run
accounts, or if use of these accounts would not ensure delivery of funds or prevent misuse,
the post may request the Department’s approval for alternative arrangements. No alternative
arrangements are to be made without Departmental approval.
Posts should, whenever possible, make arrangements with prison authorities to ensure that
any money left in a prison account when a prisoner is released is refundable, if possible to
the post but otherwise to the prisoner.

16.4 Procedures for prisoner loans (for adult signing on own behalf)
Before posts disburse funds they are to observe the following procedures:
      check country is in the Prisoner Loans Scheme
      check eligibility of the prisoner
      read aloud the terms and conditions of the loan and have the prisoner sign it (only
        applies to prisoners who are signing the Deed of Undertaking to Repay on behalf of
        themselves)
      have the prisoner sign a Deed of Undertaking to Repay
      advise the prisoner that every quarter they will be required to sign an
        Acknowledgement of Receipt of Funds for the previous quarter before any further
        money will be advanced
      advise the prisoner that action will be taken to cancel their passport, that they will be
        issued a limited validity travel document on release from prison which will require
        them to return to Australia, and they will not be issued with a fully valid travel
        document until the loan is repaid in full.
The post is to schedule the quarterly payments. Every quarter the post is to:
      enter details of the payment in SAP as outlined in the SAP Help Card
      print the Acknowledgement of Receipt of Funds which contains the prisoner’s
        Undertaking to Repay number and the amount of the payment (no greater than
        AUD435 per quarter). Add an extension number to the original Undertaking to
        Repay number. The new number is always the next sequential extension from the
        previous signed Acknowledgement of Receipt of Funds
        eg. Prison John Smith signs pre-printed UTR number A101010
        the first payment would be under UTR A101010-001
        the second payment would be under UTR A101010-002, etc
      obtain the prisoner’s signature on an Acknowledge of Receipt of Funds on which
        has been written the modified Undertaking to Repay number for the payment in the
        previous quarter
      place the signed Acknowledgement of Receipt of Funds on file at the post
      credit the equivalent local currency for the next quarter to the prisoner’s account.
Immediately prior to the prisoner’s release the post is to:
      obtain the prisoner’s signature on a final Acknowledge of Receipt of Funds form on
       which has been written the final modified Undertaking to Repay number for the last
       payment
      advise the prisoner that, if possible, arrangements would be made with prison
       authorities to ensure that any funds left in a prison account when the prisoner is
       released are refundable, if possible to the post but otherwise to the prisoner.
       However, should the funds not be refunded to the post then the prisoner is liable for
       repayment of any unused funds
      complete a Final Advice form and have the prisoner sign it and have it witnessed by
       a DFAT representative with appropriate delegation
      retain a copy of the complete Final Advice form on file as a legal document and give
       a copy to the prisoner, ensuring that they are informed about the conditions of
       repayment
      ask the prisoner how repayment is to be achieved, whether by payment in full or by
       requesting a repayment schedule
      endorse the prisoner’s passport with the full amount of the loan.

16.5 Procedures for prisoner loans on behalf of a minor or third party
Before posts disburse funds they are to observe the following procedures:
      check the country is in the Prisoner Loans Scheme
      check the eligibility of the prisoner
      read aloud the Terms and Conditions and have the loan signatory sign it (this may
        need to be done by a DFAT representative in Australia if the loan signatory resides
        there)
      obtain signed Deed of Undertaking to Repay and pre-printed Undertaking to Repay
        forms from the family or friend who are taking out the loan on behalf of the prisoner.
        Ensure that the loan signatory is over 18, an Australian citizen, they understand that
        the money will be paid directly into a prison account for use by the prisoner (they
        will have no control over how it will be spent), and that they, as loan signatory, are
        solely responsible for any and all money advanced under this arrangement
      advise the loan signatory that every quarter they will be required to sign an
        Acknowledgement of Receipt of Funds for the previous quarter before any further
        money will be advanced.
  Posts are to check their local arrangements for payments to prisoners. Money should
  normally be paid into prison-controlled accounts in the prisoner’s name. If there are no
  prison-run accounts or if the use of these would not ensure delivery of funds to prisoners
  or prevent misuse, the post may request the Department’s approval of alternative
  arrangements. No alternative arrangements are to be made without departmental
  approval. The post is to schedule the quarterly payments.
Every quarter the post is to:
      enter details of the payment into SAP as outlined in the SAP Help Card
      print an Acknowledgement of Receipt of Funds which will contain the prisoner’s
        Undertaking to Repay number and the amount of the payment (no greater than
        AUD435 per quarter). Add an extension number to the original Undertaking to
        Repay number. The new number is always the next sequential extension from the
        previous signed Acknowledged Receipt of Funds
        eg. Prison John Smith signs pre-printed UTR number A101010
        the first payment would be under UTR A101010-001
        the second payment would be under UTR A101010-002, etc
       obtain the loan signatory’s signature on an Acknowledgement of Receipt of Funds
        on which has been written the modified Undertaking to Repay number for the
        payment in the previous quarter
       place a copy of the signed Acknowledgement of Receipt of Funds on file at post. If
        the loan signatory is in Australia, it is up to the post to request Crisis Management
        Section’s assistance in obtaining an Acknowledgement of Receipt of Funds. The
        post is to ensure sufficient time for correspondence to be sent to the loan signatory
        and for the return of signed forms to Crisis Management Section. It will then fax a
        copy of the signed form to the post so the next payment can be made when due
       credit the equivalent local currency for the next quarter to the prisoner’s account.
Immediately prior to the prisoner’s release the post:
     obtains the loan signatory’s signature on a final Acknowledge of Receipt of Funds
       on which has been written the final modified Undertaking to Repay number for the
       last payment made
     advises the prisoner and the loan signatory that, if possible, arrangements would be
       made with prison authorities to ensure that any money left in a prison account when
       the prisoner is released are refundable if possible to the post, but otherwise to the
       prisoner. However, should the money not be refunded to the post, the loan
       signatory is liable for repayment of any unused money
     complete a Final Advice form and have the loan signatory sign it and witnessed by
       a DFAT representative with appropriate delegation
     the post must retain a copy of the complete Final Advice form on file as a legal
       document and give a copy to the loan signatory and remind them of the terms and
       conditions of repayment, including methods of repayment, where repayments may
       be made, and the loan is their sole responsibility
     ask the loan signatory how repayment is to be achieved, whether by payment in full
       or by requesting a repayment schedule
     endorse the loan signatory’s passport with the full amount of the loan.
Third party is given Request for a Repayment Schedule to Repay a Loan documentation.

16.6 Repayment of loan
For information on methods of and locations for repayments see Chapter 12
Prisoner Loans are due for repayment six months from the date of the prisoner’s release,
unless otherwise agreed between DFAT and the debtor.

16.7 Checklist prisoner loan
The following checklist is for consular officers issuing prisoner loans. Staff issuing these
loans should, in addition to the items in the checklist, ensure they are fully familiar with all
guidance in this chapter.
The forms should be completed for every prisoner newly seeking financial assistance. There
is no need for those currently receiving financial assistance who have already completed
documentation, to complete the new forms. These prisoners are required, however, to
complete the Acknowledgement of Receipt of Funds and the Final Advice of Money Owed
forms.

 1    Is Australian Citizenship proven? (by passport/travel document/PICS)                 Yes / No

 2    Is the applicant going to be a long term detainee?                                   Yes / No
       Is the Consular officer satisfied that the applicant is unable to obtain financial
 3     assistance by any other means?                                                             Yes / No
       (family, friends, acquaintances, banks, financial institutions)

 4     Is the applicant in receipt of funds provided by another government?                       Yes / No

       Is the country where the applicant is to be imprisoned a part of the Prisoner Loans
 5                                                                                                Yes / No
       Scheme? (check with Consular Operations if unsure)

       Has the method of payment been checked by posts. That is, will payments be
       made:
       (i)    into prison controlled accounts in the prisoner’s name; or                          Yes / No
 6
       (ii)   by other means (please specify) ……………………………………….                                    Yes / No
               ………………………………………………………………………………
       (if by other means approval must be obtained by Consular Operations prior to
       application being approved)

       Has the applicant been advised that an Acknowledgement of Receipt will have to
 7     be signed every quarter PRIOR to the next payment being made?                              Yes / No

       Has the applicant been advised that on, or immediately prior to, their release from
       prison they will be required to sign an advice which will state the full amount of their   Yes / No
 8
       debt?

       Have loan details been entered into SAP and forms printed?
 9     (follow instructions on SAP help card)                                                     Yes / No

       Has a Deed of Undertaking to Repay (UTR) and Indemnity form been signed
10     (signatory must be over 18+ years old and signature must be on all copies)                 Yes / No

       Has the loan signatory been advised of repayment conditions? (The Explanation of
11     Terms and Conditions read out to them and they’ve signed it.)                              Yes / No




Section E:                Emergency loans and administration
Chapter 17:    Travellers’ emergency loans issued by Australian
honorary consuls and Canadian posts
17.1     Conditions
17.2     Procedures
17.3     Terms and conditions
17.4     Forms required for Travellers Emergency Loans
17.5     Reimbursement
17.6     Checklist travellers emergency loans

17.1 Conditions
Travellers’ emergency loans, issued either by Australian honorary consuls or Canadian
posts, are issued solely on the authority of the supervising Australian mission responsible for
ensuring that the normal processing procedures for the issue of a loan are followed. The
supervising Australian mission is expected to obtain from the issuing sub-post the necessary
information to complete a full record of the loan, including entering information into SAP, and
producing the loan documentation.
When contact with the supervising mission is not possible, requests to issue a loan can be
referred to the Consular Emergency Centre for approval by authorised officers within
Consular Operations Branch Canberra (ie. Director Consular Operations Section Team A
and Director Consular Operations Section Team B/Consular Operations Branch and team
managers A and B).
Travellers’ emergency loans are not to exceed AUD150 per person (plus any amount lent for
Australian travel document replacement fees), irrespective of where the loan is made, unless
prior approval has been obtained from Consular Operations.

17.2 Procedures
Prior to contacting the supervising Australian mission, an officer:
        checks the applicant’s citizenship status in their passports/travel documentation
        checks the applicant’s passport for previous loans or irregularities
        interviews the applicant to establish that a loan will be of assistance and used for
          relief.
Officers are to contact the Australian supervising mission (if unavailable the 24 hour
Consular Emergency Centre) with the following details:
                    Client personal details
                    loan amount requested in AUD
                    why the loan is needed
                    why the loan is recommended.
The Australian supervising mission checks Passport Issuing Control System to:
                  confirm that the personal details are correct
                  obtain information to confirm the traveller’s identity
                  check the applicant’s passport for previous loans or irregularities.
Upon confirming these points, the supervising Australian post enters the details into SAP by
following the instructions on the SAP Help Card. The required documentation, including
Undertaking to Repayment Deed, is returned to the issuing office by fax.
Before issuing funds, the issuing office will ensure the Terms and Conditions of the loan are
read aloud to the person signing for the loan before they sign. This document is forwarded
with the original Deed of Undertaking to Repay to the supervising Australian post.
A copy of the Deed of Undertaking to Repay is given to the recipient. The recipient is
advised that this copy is their only advice on the amount of the loan and no further
correspondence will be entered into unless the loan goes into default.
Any loan record is maintained in Australian dollars, using the conversion rate (spot rate)
applicable at the post on the day the loan is made.
Australian Honorary Consuls and Canadian missions must confirm to the supervising
Australian mission that the payment has been made on the day the Travellers’ Emergency
Loan is issued.
When the Australian Honorary Consul or Canadian mission has provided the details of the
Undertaking to Repay to the supervising Australian mission and has forwarded the original
Explanation of Terms and Conditions and Deed of the Undertaking to Repayment, all
responsibility for administering the records of the loan and the loan itself lies with the
Australian supervising mission.
17.3 Terms and conditions
Prior to any paperwork being signed, the DFAT representative reads aloud the following
information to the person signing the documentation
“Do you understand that in signing the legal documentation that:
The total sum owed by you is ………………….
As the person signing you are the person who is responsible for repayment
Outside Australia, repayments are to be made at an Australian Embassy, Australian High
Commission or Australian Consulate only
Within Australia, repayments are to be made at a Passports Office or DFAT office only
The date on which any and all monies are due to be repaid will be ……………….
As the person signing you are the person who DFAT will pursue for repayment if the loan is
not repaid on time
Repaying by instalments is not usually allowed for loans of less than $500.00, however, if
this will cause you significant hardship then an application may be put to Consular
Coordination Unit, DFAT, Canberra prior to the date the loan is due to be repaid.
As the person signing you are the person in whose passport the loan will be recorded.
As the person signing you will be the one who will be unable to renew or obtain a new
passport until the loan has been repaid, irrespective of whether the financial assistance was
provided to you directly or indirectly, or whether or not you personally received any benefit
from the financial assistance.
That in the event of your death, any money still owing will be a debt against your estate.
That any legal action taken by DFAT to pursue the debt will be done through the courts in
the Australian Capital Territory within Australia irrespective of where you reside.”
 The Terms and Conditions of the legal documentation have been read and
 explained to me
        …………………………………
                                                    …………………………………
         printed name of loan signatory                signature of loan signatory


 I …………………………………….. have read and explained the Terms and
 Conditions of
 (printed name of DFAT Representative)

 the legal documentation to the person signing on / / at the time of
 …………………………




17.4 Forms required for Travellers’ Emergency Loans
For adult
Recipient signs the Explanation of Terms and Conditions.
Recipient signs a Deed of Undertaking to Repay.
For minor
Adult signs the Explanation of Terms and Conditions.
Adult signs a Deed of Undertaking to Repay on behalf of Minor.
17.5 Reimbursement
Australian honorary consuls and Canadian missions seeking reimbursement for money
issued to an Australian citizen under the conditions and procedures outlined in this chapter,
advise their supervising Australian mission of the following information:
      name of issuing post
      Undertaking to Repay (UTR) number
      passport number
      recipient’s full name
      permanent address in Australia (or overseas if permanently/long-term overseas)
      AUD amount
      date of loan.
The supervising Australian mission will issue a cheque or credit the official bank account.
Under no circumstances will money be credited to a private bank account.

17.6 Checklist travellers’ emergency loan
Staff issuing travellers’ emergency loans should, in addition to the items in the checklist,
ensure they are fully familiar with all guidance in this chapter.

1     Is Australian Citizenship proven? (by passport/travel document/PICS)                  Yes / No

2     Is the recipient a short term traveller? (usually not a long term o/s resident)       Yes / No

      Is the Consular Officer satisfied that the recipient is unable to obtain financial
3     assistance by other means?                                                            Yes / No
      (family, friends, acquaintances, banks, travel insurance, financial institutions)

      Does the recipient have any current DFAT loans irrespective of where the loan
4                                                                                           Yes / No
      was made? (checked passport/travel document/PICS/asked Traveller)

      Does the recipient fall into one of the following categories? Short of funds for
      reasons such as:
      (i)     accident or illness                                                           Yes / No
      (ii)    delays in travel plans due to lateness or cancellation of aircraft, ship or   Yes / No
5             other departures
      (iii)   delays in receipt of funds or other assets                                    Yes / No
      (iv)    destitute Australians awaiting approval for repatriation                      Yes / No
      (v)     loss or theft of money and/or travel documents                                Yes / No
              (loan issued under separate UTR from (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv))

      Is the loan for subsistence (equal to or less than AUD150.00)?
6a    (Traveller interviewed and has approval of A-based consular officer)                  Yes / No

      Is the loan for subsistence (greater than AUD150.00)?
      (has approval been received from Conops in Canberra PRIOR to loan being               Yes / No
      issued)
6b
      Name of Conops Officer………………………………………..……Date / /
      Time………….

      Is the loan for a replacement passport and/or travel documentation?
7a    (loan issued under separate UTR from any other loan(s))                               Yes / No
7b     Has the lost/stolen passport number been obtained?                                  Yes / No

       Is the loan being taken out on behalf of a minor? (Responsible adult to sign UTR)   Yes / No
8
       (proof required that the adult is the minor’s legal parent/guardian)

9      Have the loan details been recorded in SAP and forms printed?                       Yes / No

       Has a Deed of Undertaking to Repay and a UTR form been signed?                      Yes / No
10a
       (ensure the Signatory is 18+ years old and that signature is on all copies)

10b    Has the signatory been read the terms and conditions?                               Yes / No

11     Has the loan been recorded in the signatory’s passport?                             Yes / No



Chapter 18:   Travellers’ emergency loans issued by emergency
response team
18.1    Conditions
18.2    Procedures

18.1 Conditions
In an emergency the Government will decide any special assistance measures which could
include ex-gratia payments, disaster payments, provision of services including
accommodation and transport, etc. Any decision on Travellers’ Emergency Loans are made
against this background and in consultation with Canberra. When Travellers’ Emergency
Loans are to be issued the following guidelines apply.
Travellers’ Emergency Loans issued by the designated Head of an Emergency Response
Team are issued solely on the authority of the supervising mission or the Consular
Emergency Centre, following approval by Assistant Secretary Consular Operations Branch
or Director Consular Operations Section Team B. The supervising mission is usually
responsible for ensuring the normal processing procedures for issuing a Travellers’
Emergency Loan are followed and are expected to obtain from the Emergency Response
Team the necessary information to complete a full record of the loan, including entering
information into SAP and producing the loan documentation.
Depending on the scale of the emergency and the resources available at the supervising
post, it may be determined by Consular Policy Branch that Travellers’ Emergency Loans will
be entered in SAP in Canberra. If so, Director Crisis Management Section will contact
Director Management Information Systems to make appropriate arrangements and issue
appropriate instructions to the Head of the Emergency Response Team.
Travellers’ Emergency Loans are not to exceed AUD150 per person (plus an amount to
replace Australian travel documents), irrespective of where the loan is made, unless prior
approval has been obtained from Consular Operations. Each person in a family group
travelling together, irrespective of age, may receive a loan. Loans issued to minors are
recorded against an accompanying adult’s name. The amount of the loan may vary,
according to determinations by the Government in the context of a specific emergency, and
the Emergency Response Team will then be authorised by Canberra (Crisis centre or Crisis
Management Section) to issue the loan in accordance with the amount authorised for the
specific emergency.
The Head of the Emergency Response Team will be authorised to approve Travellers’
Emergency Loans and must also be a delegate to approve expenditure of public money.
18.2 Procedures
Emergency response teams are not expected to be able to access SAP from the silk laptops
provided and will, instead, use pre-printed and numbered Undertaking to Repayment receipt
books, combined with the Explanation of Terms and Conditions and the Deed of Undertaking
to Repayment printed from the handbook.
Prior to issuing a Travellers Emergency Loan, Emergency Response Team officers observe
the following procedures:
        check the applicant’s citizenship status in their passport/travel document or
          Passport Issuing Control System if the person is unable to produce a
          passport/travel document
        check the applicant’s passport or Passport Issuing Control System for previous
          loans or irregularities
        establish that the applicant has a real need for assistance and a travellers’
          emergency loan will provide adequate relief
The Head of the Emergency Response Team advises the supervising mission or Consular
Emergency Centre by cable of the details within two days after each loan is issued. The
notification uses the Undertaking to Repayment Receipt Number as a reference. The head
of the team ensures that a full report on all loans is provided to Consular Operations within
two days of the completion of the Emergency Response Team deployment.
Upon receipt of the advice from the team, the supervising mission or Management
Information Systems staff in Canberra enters the details into SAP, following the instructions
on the SAP Help Card.
Emergency Response Team officers should make every practical effort in the circumstances
to obtain and sight evidence of the loan recipient’s permanent address in Australia or, if they
do not have a permanent address there, an address (eg. nominated contact) to contact them
for debt recovery.
Upon completion of the Emergency Response Team deployment, the used Undertaking to
Repayment receipt book(s) is (are) to be returned to Consular Policy and Training Section.
Consular Policy and Training Section will reconcile the used Undertaking to Repayment
receipts with SAP to ensure all loans have been recorded in the system. Undertaking to
Repayment receipt books are accountable documents. The section maintains a stock of
receipt books for issued Emergency Response Teams.

Chapter 19:                   Consular Services Special Account (CSSA)
19.1           Conditions and procedures
19.2           Credit card payment advice
19.3           Direct bank transfer advice

In some exceptional and emergency cases, problems can be resolved by the early transfer
of funds through the official account using the procedures of Consular Services Special
Account. This mechanism can also help a traveller who has funds but cannot access them
through commercial channels. The guiding principle is that the special account should be
used only when there is no alternative.

19.1 Conditions and procedures
Provided it is clear that the recipient is an Australian citizen, cases which may be considered
for resolution by the Consular Special Services Account procedure are:
       matters of genuine urgency, such as death or immediate need to travel
       when there is no available commercial channel to provide an adequate alternative
        when slow or unreliable local banking services may cause significant deterioration
         in the citizen’s welfare
        when persons have no access to a bank, for example prisoners or persons in
         hospital or otherwise immobilised who are unable to accept a direct transfer of
         funds from the person’s nominated contact or other supporter. Consular Services
         Special Account should not be used to meet legal costs and/or bail for Australians
         detained overseas. Any requests of this nature are referred to the Director or
         Manager of Consular Operations for advice.
The system should be used only for relatively small amounts sufficient to meet immediate
needs or to pay urgent accounts on hand (eg. hospital, funeral, fares, etc.).
The account should not be used when there is reason to believe the applicant is deliberately
attempting to use the system for convenience or gain. The account is not a replacement for
normal banking channels, even when these services are slow or unreliable, unless a delay in
receiving funds could lead to a significant deterioration in the welfare of an Australian citizen.
Posts may recommend use of the account but must seek final approval from Consular
Operations. State and territory offices may not accept funds for transfer into the Consular
Special Services Account until they have received approval from Consular Operations for the
transfer. When advising amounts to be forwarded by the account, posts advise the total
amount required in reimbursable currency, the current SAP spot exchange rate (not the
budget exchange rate) and the amount required in AUD. Consular Operations add the
account transaction fee of AUD40 before contacting the funds provider. Posts should allow
in their calculations for exchange rate variations to avoid exceeding the total funds in the
account. If an exchange rate variation means the Department needs to request additional
funds from the provider to top up the account, the provider will be required to pay another
AUD40 fee.
When arrangements to lodge funds for Consular Special Services Account transfer to a post
are made directly with a person in Australia (usually through a reverse charge telephone call
by the traveller), it is important to instruct the person providing the money to contact
Consular Operations for advice on how to remit the funds. Providers of funds must be
advised not to present themselves at a regional office before making this contact. Failure to
make prior contact may result in the donor making an unnecessary and fruitless trip, and
delay receipt of funds by the traveller. Payments into the account can be in cash, money
order or credit card. The form for credit card transactions is at 19.2.
Posts must inform their client that Consular Operations will transmit remittances as soon as
possible, but there is no guarantee the funds will be available at their destination at any
given time.
When offices accept funds into the system for which they must issue receipts, details of
allocation must be obtained from Consular Operations before the funds can be used. The
heavy accounting work associated with the Consular Special Services Account requires that
posts keep its use to a minimum.
All Consular Special Services Account expenditure carries an individual internal order
number which is unique to each account and is advised by Consular Operations when the
allocation advice is forwarded. Posts should not commit funds until this advice is received.
When the final payment has been made on the account, posts forward original accounts plus
one copy, together with a request to withdraw any balance on the account, stated in post’s
reimbursable currency, to Divisional Coordination Unit, Consular, Public Diplomacy
and Parliamentary Affairs Division.

19.2            Credit card payment advice
                         Consular Services Special Account (CSSA)
                     Please complete and return to Consular Operations:
                                      Fax: (02) 6112 1279
                               Email: centre.conops@dfat.gov.au

Consular Operations Branch in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has approved
your use of the CSSA to transfer funds overseas.
A fee of AUD40.00 is charged for use of the CSSA. Your funds cannot be transferred
overseas until your bank authorises the payment and will be held in trust until delivered for
the purpose described below.
To facilitate the funds transfer by credit card, the card holder must complete the details, sign
and return to Consular Operations by fax: (02) 6112 1279; or e-mail:
centre.conops@dfat.gov.au.

Name of funds recipient (please print):
Purpose of funds to be transferred overseas (brief description):


Your name and address (please print):




Amount to be transferred                     AUD

Plus processing fee                          AUD40.00
TOTAL CREDIT CARD PAYMENT
                                             AUD
(including processing fee)


Card Type:           □ Mastercard           □ Visa             □ American Express
Card Number:         □□□□-□□□□-□□□□-□□□□

Expiry Date:               /
Name on Card:        _____________________________________________________
Signature:           _____________________________________________________
Date:                      /      /
19.3       Direct bank transfer advice
                         Consular Services Special Account (CSSA)
                    Please complete and return to Consular Operations:
                                    Fax: (02) 6112 1279
                             Email: centre.conops@dfat.gov.au

Consular Operations Branch in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has approved
your use of the Consular Services Special Account (CSSA) to transfer funds overseas.
A fee of AUD40.00 is charged for each use of the CSSA. Your funds cannot be transferred
overseas until receipted into the Department’s bank account and will be held in trust until
delivered for the purpose described below.
To facilitate the transfer of funds, please request that your bank credit the Department’s
Australian bank account:
BSB                      092-009
Bank                     Reserve Bank of Australia, Canberra
Account number           110273
Account name             Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Reference                Please quote “Consular” and the name of the person for
                         who the funds are intended
You should obtain a confirmation of the transfer for your records.
Once the transfer has been made, please complete the details below and return to Consular
Operations by fax: (02) 6112 1279; or e-mail: centre.conops@dfat.gov.au.



Name of funds recipient (please print):
Purpose of funds to be transferred overseas (brief description):


Your name and address (please print):




Amount to be transferred                    AUD

Plus processing fee                         AUD40.00
TOTAL BANK TRANSFER
                                            AUD
(including processing fee)


Chapter 20:                   Consular emergency services facility
20.1          Conditions
20.2          Procedures
Appendix 20A: Minute to delegate for approval of expenditure

This facility provides services in an emergency to Australians travellers overseas who are
assessed as in need or whose welfare is under threat, but do not have the capacity to enter
into legally binding agreements and for whom there is no person with legal capacity who will
enter into a legally binding agreement on their behalf.
These services can be required to manage extreme situations, including medical
evacuations for life-threatening illnesses or injuries. They can be used for the repatriation or
welfare of minors when an adult cannot be found to take responsibility, and, in the case of
deceased travellers, when the nominated contact cannot be found or, if found, they do not
have the resources to provide burial/cremation/repatriation of the remains and the local
authorities will not provide the service. In this case a pauper’s funeral will be provided.
Travellers who require these services may be unable to sign legally binding agreements
because:
                     they are unconscious or
                     their mental state is assessed as unable to comprehend the obligations
         they would be committing themselves to or
                     they are minors or
                     they are deceased and there is no person with the capacity to enter into
         a legally binding agreement on their behalf who will enter into an agreement to
         provide the required service.

20.1 Conditions
The beneficiary must be an Australian citizen. The traveller does not have medical or
traveller’s insurance or the terms of their insurance excludes the risk incurred by the
traveller.
No one who meets the criteria will sign a loan to provide financial assistance.
The beneficiary is a short-term traveller rather than an Australian who lives overseas semi-
permanently or permanently.
In practice, however, there will be cases when there is no alternative to providing assistance
to the latter, for example, traveller who is unconscious, medical opinion is that the need for
treatment is clearly urgent, and delay could be to the serious detriment to the health of the
patient.
When medical opinion is that because of the traveller’s mental state they would be unable to
comprehend the obligations they would be committing themselves to, the welfare of the
traveller is assessed as being at extreme risk if assistance, including repatriation, is not
provided.
In the case of a minor, the welfare of the traveller is assessed as being at extreme risk if
assistance, including repatriation, is not provided.
In the case of the death of a traveller, the local authorities will not cover the cost of a
pauper’s funeral.

20.2 Procedures
Before committing any funds for medical assistance/repatriation, the post must:
      obtain written medical advice that the patient is unable to sign a legally binding
        agreement because they are unconscious or their mental state is such that they
        would be unable to comprehend the obligations they are committing themselves to
      obtain written approval from Consular Operations to expend funds
      enter details in SAP following instructions provided by cable from Consular
        Operations.
Consular Operations seeks approval in writing from Assistant Secretary Consular Operations
Branch for the expenditure, in accordance with the pro forma minute in Appendix 20A.
Post are advised of approval by cable in the following terms:
Assistant Secretary Consular Operations Branch (name) approves expenditure of up to
(local currency amount) to fund medical repatriation/repatriation/pauper’s funeral. Internal
Order No (in range 230000 to 230098 as applicable to post) TEL – Post Name GL Code
21000 Consular Emergency Services.
Before committing funds for repatriation of a minor the post is, in the first instance, to follow
the procedures in Chapter 15. If a parent, guardian or other person cannot be found to sign
a loan, Consular Operations must seek approval in writing from Assistant Secretary
Consular Operations Branch for the expenditure, in accordance with Appendix 10A.
Before committing funds for a pauper’s funeral, the post is to:
      obtain advice, preferably in writing, from local authorities that they do not provide
        the service for foreigners
        obtain an itemised quote for a pauper’s funeral
        obtain written approval from Consular Operations to expend funds
        enter details in SAP following instructions provided by cable from Consular
         Operations Branch.
Consular Operations seeks approval in writing from Assistant Secretary Consular Operations
for the expenditure on a pauper’s funeral in accordance with Appendix 20A. The post is
advised of approval by cable.

Chapter 21:                    Legal advice and assistance
21.1  Provision of lists of lawyers
21.2  Role of consular officer
21.3  Legal aid
21.4  Legal proceedings overseas other than overseas custody cases: ex gratia
      assistance
Appendix 21A: State and territory law societies

21.1 Provision of lists of lawyers
Australians in difficulties abroad often seek legal advice from consular officers. Officers must
not give legal advice, but should advise the enquirer to consult a qualified lawyer, either
locally or in Australia, depending on the case.
While posts must not recommend legal advisers, they are required to hold and maintain a list
of local lawyers. All lawyers should have some English language capability and list other
language skills and their area(s) of expertise. Posts should ensure that at least one specialist
in family law, including child abductions, is listed.
Posts are considered to have met the requirements if they are able to refer clients to a
comprehensive and electronically accessible list of appropriately qualified English-speaking
local lawyers that is maintained by a reputable local law society, bar association or
equivalent organisation in the host country. The list should include a standard disclaimer.
Except when posts have forwarded a current list within the previous six months, a copy of
the current list is to be forwarded to Consular Operations (email to:
centre.conops@dfat.gov.au) by the end of December each year.
While the Department does not recommend or accept responsibility for the quality of work
performed by any lawyer on a post’s list, posts should make preliminary enquiries (including
with like-minded missions) to justify the inclusion of a lawyer or legal firm on their list.
If enquirers seek the name of a lawyer in Australia, consular officers should provide the
name and address of the appropriate state or territory law society and advise the enquirers
to make direct contact, stating the nature of the matter in which they seek representation or
advice. Contact details of the state and territory Law Societies are listed in Appendix 21A.
Alternatively, the enquirer can be referred to the internet or the yellow pages of the relevant
Australian telephone directory.

21.2 Role of consular officer
While an Australian seeking protection is pursuing satisfaction through local legal channels,
the consular officer must not give advice on any legal aspect of the case and must not
advance funds for obtaining local legal advice or assistance.
Australians or Australian companies involved in matters, such as legal proceedings over
property matters and actions for compensation, are expected to engage appropriate legal
representation to protect their interests. In these cases, consular officers may fulfil their
function by monitoring progress of the case without normally being required to attend in
court. If officers are in doubt whether attendance in court is desirable, they should seek
guidance from Consular Operations.

21.3 Legal aid
In Australia, legal aid is provided through Legal Aid Commissions in all states and territories,
but these will not normally grant legal aid for legal costs incurred abroad. Contact details for
these bodies are in relevant phone directories held at posts.

21.4 Legal proceedings overseas other than overseas custody cases: ex gratia
assistance
When an Australian’s life or liberty is threatened and the Australian Government has a direct
interest in the case, an application for ex gratia assistance may be made to the Attorney-
General for costs incurred in legal proceedings overseas.
Assistance under the Special Circumstances (Overseas) Scheme(www.ag.gov.au) is
provided only in the most exceptional circumstances, for example when the Australian
Government has a direct involvement in the matter, or in overseas criminal cases when the
applicant is facing a lengthy period of imprisonment or the death penalty. In the absence of
special circumstances, a lack of financial means to pay for overseas legal fees is not
sufficient in itself to justify financial assistance.
Each application is considered on its own merits. In order to determine its reasonableness,
including legal merits, the degree of hardship involved, the inability to obtain legal or financial
assistance from other sources (eg. legal aid authorities in Australia and the country
concerned), and whether there are any special circumstances warranting a grant of ex gratia
assistance are all taken into account.
An application for ex gratia assistance made to an overseas post may be sent by diplomatic
bag addressed to the:
Assistant Secretary
Legal Assistance Branch
Attorney-General’s Department
National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600
Telephone: (02) 61414770
Facsimile: (02) 61414926
A copy should be sent to DFAT, addressed Attention: Senior Legal Adviser/International
Legal Division.
For assistance available in child custody cases, see Chapter 4.

Chapter 22: Legal processes, including notarial services
22.1 Definition of notarial services
22.2 What does a notarial act mean?
22.3 Eligibility for notarial services
22.4 Other references
22.5 Definitions
22.6 Consular Management Information System (CMIS)
22.7 Authority to perform notarial acts
22.8 Consular fees
22.9 Current consular fees
22.10 Disclaimer
22.11 Notarial tools
22.12 General points about notarial services
22.13 Confidentiality
22.14 Fraud
22.15 Before providing a notarial service
22.16 Notarial procedures explained
22.17 Certifying copies of a document
22.18 Witnessing signatures on documents
22.19 Statutory declarations
22.20 Affidavits
22.21 Authentication (also called legalisation)
22.22 Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage
22.23 Application for Certificate of no Impediment to Marriage – Portugal, Poland         and
Turkey
2224 Application for Certificate of no Impediment to Marriage – other countries
22.25 Certificate of no Impediment to Marriage
22.26 Preventing fraud – binding and other procedures
Appendix 22A Definitions of legal terms

22.1 Definition of notarial services
The law in many countries requires that a signature on a document is witnessed or other
procedures are applied to a document before it can be used for legal purposes or in a court
of law. These procedures are called notarial services. Solicitors, justices of the peace, and
notaries public normally perform these functions in Australia, but consular officers may also
be authorised to do so, both in Australia and at overseas posts. The documents involved
must be processed correctly: an error in processing by a consular officer can render a
document unacceptable in court.

22.2 What does a notarial act mean?
A notarial act is an action performed by an appropriate person, such as authenticating a
document or witnessing an affidavit. A fee may be charged for each notarial act. A notarial
service may comprise of several acts.

22.3 Eligibility for notarial services
At overseas posts, notarial services are provided by DFAT for Australians, or when the
documents are for use in Australia.
In Australia, most notarial services are provided by public notaries. Locations and contact
details of public notaries are at www.notarylocator.com.au.
However, as part of DFAT’s role as the local authority for a number of International
Conventions, its state and territory offices provide the following notarial services:
    authentications
    apostilles
    Certificates of No Impediment to Marriage
    binding of some documents.
These services are only for Australians or in cases when the documents are Australian in
origin or for use in, or requested by, Australia.

22.4 Other references
This chapter sets out the procedures for performing the most commonly requested notarial
acts which include witnessing and authenticating documents, administering oaths and
affirmations, witnessing statutory declarations, and assisting in the taking of evidence and
service of documents abroad. It should be read in conjunction with the Notarial Guidelines
for State and Territory Offices, which provide further detail on authentications and apostilles.
Consular officers may, from time to time, also be called on to provide assistance with other
aspects of legal process. In these cases, additional instruction are provided by Canberra.

22.5 Definitions
Definitions of legal terms in this chapter are in Appendix 22A.

22.6 Consular Management Information System (CMIS)
CMIS contains templates to assist in delivering some notarial services. Consular officers at
overseas posts are encouraged to develop post-specific templates to assist with providing
services such as issuing Certificates of No Impediment. CMIS is also used to collect
statistics on notarial work.

22.7 Authority to perform notarial acts
The authority of a consular (or diplomatic) officer to perform particular notarial acts overseas
is granted by an array of commonwealth, state and territory legislation, regulations, court
rules and other procedures. Commonwealth legislation generally grants notarial powers and
the power to charge fees to Australian consular officers who are defined as consular agents,
consuls-general, consuls, vice-consuls, and trade representatives. These powers do not
include locally engaged staff, who may be referred to as consular officers locally, and
Australian Diplomatic Officers, defined as Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Heads of
Mission, Ministers, Charges d’Affaires, Counsellors, Secretaries and Attaches. State and
territory legislation grants notarial powers to a more limited range of officers.
Authorised locally-engaged staff
Locally engaged employees may also be authorised by the Secretary of the Department to
perform certain notarial acts and charge the prescribed fees. Posts will be approached by
cable twice yearly to nominate local staff to perform notarial work under the Consular Fees
Act and Regulations. When nominating locally engaged staff, posts are expected to take into
account the suitability, including the capacity and probity of individuals, of officers to perform
notarial work, and the length of service. Posts are reminded that these staff must have
satisfactorily completed a probation period and met local security clearance requirements.
However, authorised locally engaged staff can perform only a limited range of notarial acts
and are not able to perform notarial acts required by laws of Australia’s states or territories.
Notarial acts that can be performed are limited to:
       witnessing Commonwealth statutory declarations
       witnessing application forms for Certificates of No Impediment
       witnessing notices of intended marriage
       issuing Certificates of No Impediment
       performing authentications
       certifications of copies of documents.
Locally engaged staff are not authorised to perform any other notarial.
Questions about the extent of powers of authorised locally engaged staff, and on the
appointment or removal of these staff from the list of authorised persons, should be
addressed to the Consular Policy and Training Section.
22.8 Consular fees
The Consular Fees Act 1955 sets fees for the performance overseas of various notarial acts.
Fees are not payable when the notarial act is performed at the request of and for the
purposes of a foreign government.
Consular fees are paid in the post’s local currency. Local currency fees are to be reviewed
monthly and need only be amended when the exchange rate moves by 3 per cent or more
since the last variation.
Local currency fees may be rounded to the nearest commercially used local currency unit.
In countries with multiple Australian posts, for example, the United States, responsibility for
setting local currency fees lies with the primary mission. For posts in countries using the
Euro, Brussels sets the local currency fees.
Current consular fees are in 22.9. Posts are required to display prominently, in both English
and the local language, a current list of local currency fees in their consular public area.

If the act is performed away from diplomatic or consular premises, the following additional
charges apply:
        the cost of the travel of a person specified in regulation 3 (an Australian diplomatic or
           consular officer or an authorised locally engaged staff) from those premises to the
           place where he or she performs the act
        if the person is required to be absent overnight from his or her usual place of
           residence – the cost of his or her meals and accommodation.
        If the act is performed outside the hours when those premises are open to the public
           for business – the amount of the remuneration (if any) of the person for the period
           when the act was performed.
22.9                    Current consular fees

       Item   Consular act                                           Fee
       1      Administering an oath or receiving a declaration       AUD20
              or affirmation, with or without witness of signature

       2      Marking an exhibit to an affidavit or declaration in   AUD 10
              writing

       3      Witnessing:                                            AUD 20
              (a) a signature or
              (b) the seal or
              (c) the signature and seal
              of an authority or person, other than a person
              specified in regulation 3
       4      Signing a document, or affixing a seal to a            AUD 20
              document or other article, in a case not otherwise
              specified in this Schedule;

       5      Signing and affixing a seal to a document in a         AUD 20
              case not otherwise specified in this Schedule

       6      Preparing a declaration or other document in a         AUD 30 and in addition
              case not otherwise specified in this Schedule or       AUD 20 for each 50
              taking down in writing an oral declaration or          words, or part, by which
              deposition made before a person specified in           the document exceeds
              regulation 3                                           50 words

       7      Making and certifying a copy of a document or          AUD 30 and in addition
              part of a document                                     (a) if the consular act
                                                                     includes the typing of the
                                                                     document or a part of the
                                                                     document - AUD 20 for
                                                                     each 50 typed words
                                                                     (b) AUD 2 for each copy,
                                                                     other than the first typed
                                                                     copy, of a page of the
                                                                     document.

       8      Verifying and certifying a copy of a document or       AUD 30 and in addition
              part of a document                                     (a) if the consular act
                                                                     includes the typing of the
                                                                     document or a part of the
                                                                     document - AUD 20 for
                                                                     each page
                                                                     (b) AUD 10 for each
                                                                     copy, other than the first
                                                                     typed copy of the
                                                                     document.


       9      Uniting documents and affixing a seal to the           AUD 20
              fastening
    10        Initialling alterations to, or interlineations in, a      AUD 5 for each 3
              document not prepared by a person specified in            initialling or part of 3
              regulation 3                                              initialling

    11        Taking evidence under a commission or order               AUD 50 for each hour, or
              from a court                                              part of an hour, spent in
                                                                        taking evidence or AUD
                                                                        200, whichever is the
                                                                        greater.

    12        Effecting, or attempting to effect, service of a          AUD 30
              document and issuing a certificate or affidavit of
              service or attempted service

    13        Transmitting through official channels a                  AUD 12 and in addition,
              document or other article                                 the amount of postal
                                                                        charges which would be
                                                                        payable if the document
                                                                        or article were
                                                                        transmitted by post.

    14        Witness the execution of a Will                           AUD 40

    15        Transferring funds through official accounts,             AUD 40
              other than for the purpose of the realisation of a
              deceased estate

    15A       Preparation and issue of an Apostille (a                  AUD 60
              certificate of the kind referred to in Article 3 of the
              Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement
              of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents)

    16        The performance of a consular act specified in a          AUD 10
              preceding item of this Schedule:                          Additional charges apply
                                                                        where the act is
              (a) away from diplomatic or consular premises; or
                                                                        performed away from
              (b) outside the hours when those premises are             diplomatic or consular
              open to the public for business                           premises or after normal
                                                                        business hours. See
                                                                        below.
         Other Consular acts

              Issuing a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage          AUD90

22.10         Disclaimer
Posts are required to display prominently in the public area of the mission a disclaimer notice
which should be drawn to the attention of consular clients. The wording of the notice should
be:
Please ensure that documents relating to notarial services you require from the Australian
Government/Embassy/Consulate, are presented in the correct form and that you provide the
correct instructions for witnessing any signatures on the documents. If you are unsure of the
legislative requirements relating to witnessing signatures on a particular document, you
should seek independent legal advice. Please note, by witnessing a signature on a
document neither the Australian Government nor the Australian Embassy/High
Commission/Consulate in Post/Country guarantees the legal effectiveness of the document
or the accuracy of its contents.

22.11 Notarial tools
Special equipment is needed to perform notarial acts correctly. Thess include:
      stamps (ie. wet seals), including the office common seal
      red wafers and an embossing tool with the common seal, for placing dry seals on
         documents
      a Bible and other religious texts as required, for administering oaths
      green ribbon to bind documents.
Some equipment, such as a Bible or ribbon, should be purchased locally. Other equipment,
such as the embossing tool, can only be obtained from DFAT Canberra.

22.12 General points about notarial services
Notarial work is another one of DFAT’s client services. Clients expect prompt, courteous and
accurate service.
It is the responsibility of the client to present the document to be serviced in the correct form,
and to provide the correct instructions for servicing.
Some notarial acts, such as witnessing signatures, taking declarations, or administering
oaths in particular, are serious, private occasions and should be performed with due
solemnity. They should be performed in a private room or area if possible.
The content of any statements in a document sworn or declared is not the consular officer’s
responsibility: the consular role is to service the document correctly
When placing stamps and seals on documents, do not cover any text in the document.

22.13 Confidentiality
Subject to the following paragraph, officers performing notarial services must not disclose
any information of which they become aware during the process of issuing an authentication
or apostille. This caveat applies to both personal and commercial information.
Despite the above, there is no concept of ‘consular client confidentiality’ for admissions of
possible criminal conduct by a consular client. DFAT officers who become aware of
information which could reasonably be suspected to relate to the commission of a serious
criminal offence must follow the procedure set out in Admin. Circ N543/09 on Australian
extraterritorial offences and the responsibility to report.

22.14 Fraud
Should an officer become aware that there are serious grounds to believe that a document
has been illegally notarised or may be put to fraudulent use, they should immediately inform
their supervisor, who should in turn advise Consular Branch and the Conduct and Ethics Unit
of the Department in Canberra.
When staff have been presented with documents, the contents of which cause them concern
or they believe them to be contrary to Australia’s interests, they should refer the matter to
their head of mission or director, who should seek advice from Consular Branch on an
appropriate course of action.

22.15 Before providing a notarial service.
The consular officer should draw the client’s attention to the Disclaimer (22.10) and the
schedule of fees (22.9) and calculate and advise the cost of the service requested before
proceeding.
The officer should make sure the client qualifies for receiving notarial services from the
Australian Government (22.3).
When relevant, clients should be asked to bring photo ID to enable the consular officer to
identify the client to ensure they are the person named on the document.
Precise instructions are provided on many documents. The consular officer should read the
instructions on the document, and/or in this handbook and make sure they understand
exactly what service is requested. They should then assemble the required tools and take
the time to ensure the act is performed correctly and that all parties understand the process.

22.16 Notarial procedures explained
The following eight sections provide a detailed description of the most commonly requested
notarial services: what they are for, who is authorised to perform the service, and steps to be
followed.
Certifying copies of a document.
Clients often require copies of documents to present to authorities for various reasons. The
authorities require that the copy be certified by a notary or other authorised person as a true
copy of the original.
Commonly requested are certified copies of university degree certificates, diplomas,
academic transcripts, financial statements, birth and citizenship certificates, and drivers’
licences.
When consular officers are asked to certify that a document is a true copy, they must satisfy
themselves that the copy is in fact a true copy of the document. The certification should take
the following form: “This is a true copy of the document presented to me”. Certification of a
document should not be provided if the document presented is, or appears to be, something
other than an original document (ie, a photocopy, or a facsimile).
When consular officers are asked to certify a document containing a photograph, such as a
driver’s licence, they are certifying that the copy is a true copy of the original document
presented. They are not making any claims about the identity of the person.
If a client requires a different form of words, they should be advised to have the document
certified by a Notary Public or the body from which the document originated. Consular
officers should be aware that some jurisdictions allow only the originator of official
documents to certify copies of those documents (eg., for a passport, the relevant passport
office).

Authority to certify copies
All Australian diplomatic and consular officers and authorised locally-engaged staff can
certify copies.

Steps to certify a copy of a document
     1. Take the original document and make the required number of copies on the office
        photocopier. This ensures a true copy of the original document. If the document’s
        size or shape make it necessary to accept a copy from the client, the consular
        officer must take the time to ensure the copy is the same as the original in every
        detail.
     2. Stamp each copy with ‘This is a true copy of the document presented to me’ and
        sign with details of the officer’s name, title and date added where indicated by the
        stamp.
     3. Place the official stamp over part of the consular officer’s signature, but do not
        obscure it. This renders the signature difficult to photocopy for fraudulent purposes.
When certifying a copy of a single document, irrespective of the number of pages and how
many must be certified, the client is charged for a single act. However, if the client requests
multiple copies and certification for each, then they are charged for each copy.

22.17 Witnessing signatures on documents
The law often requires that a client sign a document in front of a notary or other authorised
person before using that document for legal purposes. The type of document that clients
might bring for witnessing of signature vary greatly.
Commonwealth, state and territory legislation, regulations and court rules provide varying
procedures for witnessing documents, affidavits and statutory declarations. Consular officers
should be guided by the form provided by the client (the deponent).

Authority to witness signatures
Precise requirements for the effective witnessing of a document, including whether the
document may be witnessed by an A-based officer or an authorised locally engaged staff, is
dictated by the jurisdiction in which the document is to be relied (eg. commonwealth, state,
territory, or foreign). Requirements may vary further, depending on subject matter. All
Australian diplomatic and consular officers can witness signatures on documents, though
clients need to check whether these officers are eligible witnesses for the purpose required
(eg. some legislation does not list consular officers as eligible). Authorised locally-engaged
staff can witness signatures on documents used in Commonwealth jurisdictions only.
The document should contain the full name, address and occupation of the deponent.
Clients should be informed that it is their responsibility to present the document to be
witnessed in the correct form and to provide the correct instructions for witnessing. Consular
officials must not draw up legal documents or guarantee the legal effectiveness of
documents they witness.
The rank or appointment of the officer witnessing a document should be stated on the
document under the signature of that officer. The official seal should then be fixed to the
document.
Steps to witness a signature
The document usually contains specific instructions for witnessing: where to place
signatures and other required information.
The client’s photo ID should be checked to confirm they are the person named on the
document.
The consular officer should point to the place indicated on the document for the client to
sign, and ask them to sign. The consular officer should then sign in the place indicated for
the witness, and complete the other details indicated on the document, then place the official
stamp where indicated. They may need to use their personal name and title stamp if the
document does not provide for these details.
The standard form of words for witnessing a signature on a document are shown below as
an example, but may differ slightly from document to document.

                ‘In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of
                .......................................................
                .


                this . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . day of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20. . . .’
                Done at (city) in (country)


                (Signature and description of office held)


                (seal)


Despite what is written in 2215, if an applicant is unaware or unsure of the legislative
requirements for witnessing a particular document, upon the client’s specific instructions an
A-based officer may perform the notarial act using the standard form of certificate. However,
the A-based officer must ensure the client is informed that the post cannot guarantee the
legal effectiveness of the document.
Witnessing a signature is a single notarial act. See 229 for the correct fee.

22.18 Statutory declarations
A statutory declaration is a solemn declaration of fact or belief, and may generally be made
in relation to any matter. An affidavit is used to give evidence in court proceedings, while a
statutory declaration is used to give evidence in most other circumstances.
The declaration must contain an acknowledgement that it is true and correct and that it was
made in the belief that a person making a false declaration is liable to the relevant penalties
for perjury (eg. in the case of a Commonwealth statutory declaration, imprisonment of up to
four years). Commonwealth, state and territory jurisdictions in Australia all provide for
making of Statutory Declarations, although the form varies slightly in each jurisdiction:
     Commonwealth and the ACT
          A person wishing to use a statutory declaration in connection with a law of the
          Commonwealth, the Australian Capital Territory or certain other territories must
          make the declaration in accordance with the Statutory Declaration Act 1959. The
          form for making a statutory declaration and the persons who can witness a statutory
          declaration are prescribed under the Statutory Declarations Regulations 1993. The
          form is on the Attorney General's Department website: http://www.ag.gov.au/statdec
     State or territory
        Persons wishing to make a statutory declaration in relation to a matter concerning
        state law needs to check the procedures for making and using declarations with the
        relevant state. A consular officer, but not an authorised locally employed staff, may
        be able to witness a statutory declaration for use in a state or territory. The form and
        procedure are generally similar to those of a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration,
        although legislation on the declaration and the penalties for perjury are different.
Authority to witness a statutory declaration
Subject to the requirements of the legislation, Australian diplomatic and consular officers can
witness statutory declarations. Authorised locally-engaged staff can witness Commonwealth
declarations, but not state or territory declarations.
Steps to witness a Statutory Declaration
The client usually brings the form already filled in with the statement they wish to declare,
which can be handwritten or typed, or they may request a blank form to complete. (See
DFAT Corporate database - Templates/ Forms.)
The client (declarant) must provide all the information requested on the form, including
name, address and occupation.
The consular officer should check the client’s identity by asking if they are the person whose
name appears on the declaration, and also check, to the extent possible, that the person is
competent to make the statutory declaration.
The consular officer should then:
    take the form from the client. If there is space at the end of the statement, rule a line
      (Z) with a black pen from the last word of the statement to the bottom of the area
      allocated for the statement, to ensure nothing can be added later
    lay the declaration before the client and draw the their attention to the statement on
      the bottom of the form about the penalties for making false declarations. Remind the
      client of the contents of this statement and ensure that they understand
    ask the client to sign the declaration
    point to the client’s written statement and say to the client “Is this your name and
      signature, and do you declare that the contents of this declaration are true?”
    on receiving an affirmative response (yes or nodding the head, etc), the consular
      officer should witness the declarant’s signature by signing in the place indicated on
      the form, and completing the name/title/office etc details as indicated
    Complete the process by placing the official stamp over the top right hand corner of
      their signature, or where indicated on the form.
Witnessing a statutory declaration is a single notarial act (see 22.9). If the declaration has
more than one page, and the declarant requests that the document be bound, there is an
additional fee .

22.19 Affidavits
An affidavit is a written statement that allows the person making it (the ‘deponent’) to present
evidence in court or other legal proceedings. The person making the affidavit must take an
oath, or make an affirmation, that the contents of the affidavit are true and correct. Generally,
it is an offence to swear or affirm to false information.
The consular officer’s role is to witness the affidavit and administer the oath or affirmation.
The precise form of an affidavit is dictated by the commonwealth, state or territory legislation
under which the affidavit is made or the proceedings in which the evidence contained in it is
to be relied on. An affidavit that has not been drawn up correctly may not be effective. It is
the deponent’s responsibility to provide the document in the correct form and any additional
witnessing/administering instructions. The deponent should be informed that the post takes
no responsibility for the correctness of the form of an affidavit. When a deponent is unclear
about the form that the document should take, they should be advised to seek professional
legal advice.
Authority to witness affidavit and administer oath or affirmation
Only an Australian diplomatic or consular officer can witness an affidavit and administer the
oath or affirmation. The rank of a consular officer at an overseas post empowered to do so
may vary, depending on the jurisdiction and relevant legislation. Again, it is the deponent’s
responsibility to provide the correct instructions on this.
If a deponent is unaware or unsure of the legislative requirements for a particular document,
an A-based officer should use the following standard affidavit procedure and inform the
deponent that the post cannot guarantee the legal effectiveness of the document.
Consular officers do not assume responsibility for the correctness of the statements in any
document sworn or declared before them.
Attachments
If there are any attachments to the affidavit, the consular officer should endeavour to confirm
that they are in fact those referred to in the document. Each exhibit should be marked as
follows:
‘This is the Attachment marked <Attachment A etc> referred to in the affidavit of <deponent’s
name> sworn <or> affirmed at <place> before me on <day><month><year>. <Consular
officer’s signature>’
The person making the affidavit should then sign the document below the text to the right of
the position in which the jurat will be placed (see below).
Only after all the text has been inserted and the document is signed by the person making
the affidavit is the oath taken. The deponent swears or declares not only to the truth of the
contents of the document but the authenticity of her/his signature and to her/his identity.
Steps to witness an affidavit:
    check the client’s photo ID to confirm they are the person named on the document.
      Read any instructions on the document
    ask the client (deponent) to sign the affidavit at the end of the written statement, in
      the place indicated on the document
    advise the client they must now swear an oath or make an affirmation to the truth of
      the statement and the authenticity of their signature, and their identity. Explain the
      meanings of oath and affirmation and ask the client which they prefer. Affidavits have
      traditionally been sworn on oath. However, when the deponent objects to swearing
      on the grounds that they have no religious belief, or that the taking of an oath is
      contrary to their religious belief, they may affirm the affidavit (see below)
    to administer the oath, a consular officer should place the affidavit before the
      deponent, open at the page containing their signature, and ask the deponent to take
      a Bible in their right hand. The consular officer should then point to the signature and
      request the deponent to repeat the following words:
      ‘I swear by Almighty God that this is my name and handwriting and that the contents
      of this my affidavit are true and correct in every particular <and these are the exhibits
      referred to therein>, so Help me God.’
    after the oath is sworn, the consular officer should affix the jurat, his or her signature,
      and the official seal immediately below the last line of the document. The jurat
      certifying that the document has been duly sworn should take the following form:
                Sworn at <city> in <country>


                this day of <day><month><year>         <deponent signs before the oath>


                before me, <name and position>
                <Signature of Consular Officer>        Official seal


      If necessary, the jurat may be written on either side of the page or in the margin, but
       it should only run half-way across the page so the deponent has room to sign to the
       right of it. The jurat should never be on a separate page by itself.
Other forms of oath
The person making the affidavit may request that they be sworn by some other form of oath
(an oath may be administered in any form or manner which the deponent declares to be
binding upon their conscience). Section 22.20 provides examples of oaths administered to
deponents of non Judaeo-Christian belief.
When an affidavit is sworn by a person who appears blind or illiterate, the consular officer
must certify in the jurat that the affidavit was read to the deponent in their presence, that the
deponent appeared to understand the matter contained in the affidavit, and the deponent
signed it with a mark or otherwise in the presence of that person.
Administering an affirmation
If the deponent indicates they have no religious belief, or that taking an oath is contrary to
their religious belief or conscience, the person may be permitted to make an affirmation in
lieu of swearing an affidavit. An affirmation has the same legal effect as an affidavit, but it is
not taken on the Bible and does not refer to religious belief.
The officer should open the document at the page containing the deponent’s signature and,
pointing to that signature, request that the deponent repeat the following words:
‘I, <full name of deponent> do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that this is my
name and handwriting, and that the contents of this my affirmation are true.’

The attestation (corresponding to a jurat in the case of an affidavit) should follow at the end
of the document and take the following form:

               Affirmed at <city> in <country>


               This day of <day><month><year>             <deponent signs before
                                                          oath>


               before me, <name and position>
               <Signature of Consular Officer>            Official seal

Affidavits often comprise more than one page, and may need to be bound with a ribbon and
dry seal.
Servicing an affidavit usually comprises two notarial acts: administering the oath with witness
of signature, and uniting documents and affixing a seal to the fastening (ie. binding).
Amending an affidavit
Affidavits must not be amended once they have been sworn or affirmed. If an affidavit needs
to be corrected, either a second affidavit clarifying the matter in question to the first affidavit
must be made, or the first affidavit must be re-sworn.

22.20 Alternative oaths
As a general rule, an oath may be administered to any person professing a religion other
than Christian or Jewish in any form or manner which the deponent himself declares to be
binding upon his conscience.
The following forms of oaths are effective if the consular officer receives an affirmative
answer to the question: “Are you bound by that oath (or by that ceremony you have
performed) to speak the truth”.

Buddhist
‘I declare, as in the presence of Buddha, that I am unprejudiced, and if what I shall speak
shall prove false, or if by colourful truth others shall be led astray, then may the three Holy
Existences, Buddha, Dharma and Pro Sangha, in whose sight I now stand, together with the
Devotees of the twenty-two Firmaments, punish me and also my migrating soul; and I
accordingly swear that this is my name and handwriting (or mark) and that the contents of
this your affidavit are true.’

Muslim
A copy of the Koran is handed to the deponent. The deponent places his/her right hand flat
upon the book and left hand upon his/her forehead and brings his head down to the book
and into contact with it. The deponent then regards the book for some moments.
The deponent is asked: ‘What is the effect of the ceremony you have performed?’
Deponent should reply: ‘I am bound by it to speak the truth and I swear (or declare) . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . .’

Arabic
Some people will only take the oath on the Koran in the original Arabic language.
The deponent places his/her right hand upon his forehead and left hand upon the book. The
Deponent then bends down to the Koran and kisses it. The consular officer says: “By the
ceremony that you have just performed are you bound by your conscience to speak the
truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”
The deponent answers: “I am”.
Consular officer: “Do you swear that this is your name and handwriting (or mark) and that the
contents of this your affidavit are true?”
Deponent: “I do.”

22.21 Authentication (also called legalisation)
Documents originating or executed in Australia, whether private or public, are often required
to be authenticated or legalised before they can be used or relied on in a foreign jurisdiction.
Authenticating a document means verifying the signature and/or seal which appears on a
document, and making a statement on the document to that effect. An official stamp, seal or
signature on a document is verified by checking it against a specimen held on file, then
stamping the document with the authentication stamp. The sort of documents brought in for
authentication include Australian birth certificates, divorce documents, driver’s licences,
educational certificates and marriage certificates.
The purpose is to establish a chain of authentication in order to verify the signatures (and/or
stamps or seals) appearing on a document. Each party that is required to authenticate a
signature (and/or stamp or seal) must be able to verify the signature of the preceding
authentication. Authentication does not, however, verify the truth or accuracy of the contents
of a document.
The precise requirement for each authentication (ie. how many steps in the chain are
required and the preferred route) is a matter for the authorities of the receiving state to
determine. For example:
        some receiving countries will accept authentication by the relevant post in the
           receiving country
        some receiving countries require authentication by a DFAT office in Australia
        some receiving countries require authentication by a DFAT office in Australia and
           for the DFAT officer’s signature to be authenticated by the receiving country’s
           embassy or consulate in Australia prior to the document being used in that
           country.
Occasionally a document must be presented in a receiving country which does not have
consular representation in Australia. The Department or an Australian post abroad may be
asked to verify, under its seal, a signature of the notary public or justice of the peace before
whom the document is sworn.
Authority to perform authentications
All Australian diplomatic and consular officers, and authorised locally-engaged staff can
authenticate documents.
Recognition of Signature
A consular officer can only verify a signature (or a seal, or both if they are absolutely
satisfied that it is in fact that of the person/organisation whose signature (or seal) it purports
to be. Photocopies of signatures/seals or stamps cannot be authenticated.

Steps to authenticate a document:
    take the document from the client and identify the name of the person whose
       signature and seal you are authenticating. Open up the Signature and Seals
       database in CMIS and click on the person’s name. The database will show you an
       example of their signature or seal
    compare the two. If you are completely satisfied the signature and/or seal on the
       document is the same as the one demonstrated in CMIS, go ahead and authenticate
       the document by placing the authentication stamp on it and filling in the details
       requested on the stamp. You can also use CMIS to print an authentication stamp,
       already completed with your own and post’s details, on the document
    the authentication stamp is very large, and cannot be placed over any of the text in
       the document. If necessary, you can place the stamp on the back of the document, or
       if space requires, the authentication statement can be typed or inserted by rubber
       stamp on a separate sheet; in this case the document should be bound. (22.26)
Wording of authentication
The form of authenticating a signature on a document is:
I……………………………(name                     of    officer)  an    officer   of    the    Australian
Embassy/Consulate/State Office/Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (delete as
appropriate), having been duly authorised by the Secretary of the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade, DO HEREBY CERTIFY that the signature/seal/stamp
 ‘……………………………………………………………………….….’
appearing on the document/s above/below/attached hereto/on the reverse hereto is the true
signature/seal/stamp of
…………………………………………………………………………....
in so certifying, neither I nor the Embassy/Consulate/State Office/Department endorse, verify
or make any statement as to the accuracy, truth, legality or otherwise of the contents of the
document or the purposes for which the document may be used. Neither I nor the
Embassy/Consulate/State Office/ Department accept liability for any loss, damage or injury
arising out of the use of, or reliance on, the document or its contents. I provide no
undertaking that I have read the contents of the document.

GIVEN under my Hand and the seal of the Embassy/Consulate/State Office/Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade this ………………….. day of ……………………………………. Two
thousand………….

(for overseas missions)                (Signed)
Name
Position
(Stamp with wet seal)

(for DFAT offices in Australia)        (Signed)
                                       for the Secretary
                                      Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
         (Stamp with wet seal)

Signatures affixed by rubber stamp, computer or automatically generated signatures can be
authenticated providing the authenticating officer is satisfied, following a comparison with a
copy of the seal on file or the CMIS database, that it is the properly sanctioned ‘mark’ of the
relevant authority or person.
Non-recognition of signature
If, after a comparison with the relevant file or CMIS database, the document to be
authenticated does not include a signature that the consular officer recognises, the person
presenting the document should be advised to return it, through private channels, to
Australia for authentication. Sending the document to Australia through private channels
need not preclude presentation of the document to a Departmental officer in Australia or to
the Department. Only in exceptional circumstances should the document be sent by
diplomatic bag to the Department.
If the matter is urgent, posts may request the DFAT office in the state or territory in which the
document originated to fax a specimen of the signature to be authenticated so a comparison
can be made.
If the signature or seal still cannot be recognised, the client should be asked to have the
document certified by a notary before presenting it again for authentication.
Occasionally officers at post may be requested to authenticate the signatures of
Departmental officers in various branches of the Department. When the signature is not
personally known to the officer at post, the officer should directly request the signer to
forward a specimen signature to the post.
Authenticating a document is a single notarial act. If it consists of more than one page, the
binding fee is to be added. However, the fee for binding should not be charged if binding
became necessary only because a second page was added to accommodate the stamp.

22.22 Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage
Australian consular and diplomatic officers used to be able to perform marriages overseas.
However, this practice ceased in 1995 and since that date, any legally performed marriage in
an overseas country, which would have been legal had it been performed in Australia, is
accepted as a legal marriage under Australian law.
The laws of some countries require that, before a foreigner may marry within their
jurisdiction, they must produce a certificate issued by the authorities of the country to which
they belong, stating that those authorities do not know of any impediment to the marriage.
Such a certificate is known as a Certificate of No Impediment or a Nulla Osta Certificate.
Authority to accept applications and issue Certificates of No Impediment
There is no specific legislation in Australia authorising the issue of these certificates by
diplomatic or consular officers. In practice, Australian diplomatic and consular officers and
authorised locally-engaged staff at posts can accept applications and issue Certificates of
No Impediment. It is also possible for the application to be witnessed by a person overseas
who holds the local equivalent office or professional qualification, for example. a local notary
would be acceptable. Any post or state and territory office of the Department may issue this
certificate.
Certificates of No Impediment are issued to Australian citizens and Australian permanent
residents.
It is the responsibility of the parties to the proposed marriage to ascertain whether the
authorities in the country concerned require the certificate to be issued by the Australian
embassy or consulate in that country, or whether a certificate issued in Australia is
acceptable.
Eligibility for a Certificate of No Impediment
The Certificate of No Impediment is a general statement of the law in Australia concerning
the recognition of foreign marriages. The certificate makes no warranty for the capacity of a
particular couple to marry. A Certificate of No Impediment can be issued if, on the basis of
information supplied by the applicant, the couple meet the criteria which would render a
marriage legal in Australia:
       the parties are of the opposite sex
       they are not closely related
       they are both of marriageable age (18 years)
       neither is already married.
Information about marriage under Australian law is on the Attorney-General’s Department’s
website: www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/agd.nsf/Page/MarriageGetting_Married
If there is any doubt about whether the marriage will be recognised in Australia, the
certificate should not be issued, and the matter should be referred to Consular Policy and
Training Section of DFAT which will consult the Attorney-General's Department when
necessary.
Applicants under 18
From time to time, posts in countries where the marriageable age is less than 18 receive
requests for the issue of Certificate of No Impediment for persons who are under the age of
18. The marriageable age on the application form is the Australian marriageable age, ie. 18
for both parties, not the local one. If either party to the marriage is domiciled in Australia,
Australian law on marriageable age applies as far as recognition of the marriage in Australia
is concerned, no matter where the marriage takes place. Under Australian law, exceptions to
the requirement that both parties be 18 or older can be authorised only by a judge or
magistrate, and then only in respect of a marriage between a people aged 16 or 17 and a
particular person aged 18 or over. Parental consent to the marriage of a minor is not
sufficient. Therefore, unless the Australian applicant produces authorisation for that
particular marriage by an Australian court, a Certificate of No Impediment I should not be
issued if either party is under 18.
Parties to a marriage should be advised to consult a solicitor if unsure that their marriage will
be recognised in Australia, including a doubt that an overseas divorce is recognised by
Australian authorities.
Under Australian marriage law, a couple cannot be married more than once and cannot be
married in Australia if they have already been married under the law of another country.
However, under the Marriage Act there is nothing prohibiting a couple from having another
religious ceremony after they have been married, but it cannot purport to be a ceremony of
marriage and no documents can be prepared or filed in relation to the religious ceremony.

Steps to issue a Certificate of no Impediment
Clients are to complete and submit the form Application for Certificate of No Impediment to
Marriage, which is then witnessed by the consular officer.
In Turkey, Poland and Portugal, the application form is a Statutory Declaration and the
procedure for servicing Statutory Declarations should be followed. See 22.23 for an example
of the form.
In Turkey, Poland and Portugal it is mandatory to sight applicants’ IDs, birth certificates,
citizenship certificates, or divorce orders, etc. when accepting the application.
In all other countries, applications for Certificates of No Impediment s are administrative
declarations in front of a witness, and the usual procedure for witnessing a signature should
be followed. See 22.24.
The consular officer then prepares the certificate in accordance with the sample 22.25,
provided by the Attorney-General's Department. Although it is strongly preferred that posts
use the text provided, some posts, for local requirements, have had amended versions
approved for local use. There is a template in the Signatures and Seals database in CMIS
which enables posts to print off a certificate pre-formatted with post details.
When required by a foreign state, posts may issue certificates in a foreign language,
provided they are confident that the translation accurately reflects the English text in 22.25.
Posts requiring amended wordings for certificates should approach the Consular Policy and
Training Section for advice.
Clients can download application forms from the DFAT Smartraveller website. In Australia,
they can complete the form and have it witnessed by a qualified witness listed on the
application form. They can then present it at any DFAT office. Clients overseas can
complete the form and present it at an Australian mission for witnessing.
It is desirable to sight documentary evidence of the applicant's date of birth, nationality,
Australian residency and, if either party is divorced or widowed, the relevant divorce order or
death certificate. Sighting documentary evidence is mandatory, however, for posts with
approval to use the Statutory Declaration form of application for a Certificate of No
Impediment.
The consular officer should sign the certificate and add their details where indicated on the
form, then complete the process by adding the official stamp. A hard copy of the final
certificate complete with signatures and seals should be retained on file, along with any
supporting documentation.
The fee charged for the preparation of this certificate will be in accordance with item 6 of the
Consular Fees Act 1955. This includes any witnessing services provided in conjunction with
the relevant certificate.
                      22.23               Application for certificate of no impediment to marriage –
                                          Portugal, Poland and Turkey
                                                                                         [COAT OF ARMS]

                                                           COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
                                             APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATE OF NO IMPEDIMENT TO MARRIAGE

                   I,...................................................................……………, of
                   (address).....................................................................

                   .............................................................................................................................................................................
                   .....

                   apply for a Certificate of No Impediment in respect of my proposed marriage in (name of overseas country)

                   ………………………………………….........................to...……………………………………………………………
                   ……

        in support I provide the following particulars-                                                     Male                                                   Female


1. Surname                                                                           1....................................………………               1....................................………………


2. Christian or given names                                                          2....................................………………               2....................................………………


3. Country of Citizenship                                                            3....................................………………               3....................................………………


4. Australian Residency status                                                       4....................................………………               4....................................………………
 (i.e. Permanent Resident or Non-Resident)

5. Usual occupation                                                                  5....................................………………               5....................................………………


6. Usual place of address (in full]                                                  6....................................………………               6....................................………………

                                                                                     ................................…………………                   ................................…………………
7. Have you been married before? (Yes/No)                                            7................................…………………                  7................................…………………


7(a). If yes to 7, please provide details of how that marriage was                   7(a) ....................................……………            7(a) ....................................…………
terminated.

8. Place of birth                                                                    8………………………………………                                          8………………………………………
 Indicate town/city and State/Territory
  (and country if born outside Australia)
9. Date of birth                                                                     9....................................………………               9....................................………………


9(a). If under 18 provide details of judicial authorisation                          9(a) ................................……………                9(a) ................................……………


10. Are you and the other party related? (Yes/No)                                    10..................................………………                10..................................………………


10(a). If yes to 10 please provide details of relationship                           10(a) ..............................……………                 10(a) ..............................……………


11. Father’s name (in full)                                                          11…………………………….………                                         11…………………………….………
12. Mother’s maiden name (in full)                                    12………………………………………                             12……………………………………



                I do solemnly and sincerely declare that the above information is correct and that I believe there is no legal
                                                impediment to the marriage by reason of-

           (a)       either of us being lawfully married to some other person;
           (b)       our being within a prohibited relationship;
           (c)       either of us not being of marriageable age; or
           (d)       other circumstances
           and I make this solemn declaration under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 conscientiously believing the statements
           contained in it to be true in every particular, and knowing that the Act provides a penalty for wilful making of a false
           statement in a declaration.
           Signature of person making the
           declaration................................................................................................. ..........……………………

           Declared at.................................................………on the...................…………....day
           of...............………………............……..20…..
           Before
           me*..............................................................……………………….……………………………………………….…………...
           (Signature, name and title of person witnessing the declaration.)
           *A statutory declaration under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 as amended may be made only before a Chief, Police, Resident or
           Special Magistrate; Stipendiary Magistrate or any Magistrate in respect of whose office an annual salary is payable; a Justice of the Peace; a
           person authorised under any law in force in Australia or its Territories to take affidavits; a person appointed under the Statutory
           Declarations Act 1959 as amended or under a State Act to be a Commissioner for Declarations; a person appointed as a Commissioner for
           Declarations under the Statutory Declarations Act 1911, or under that Act as amended, and holding office immediately before the
           commence of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959; a Notary Public; a person before whom a statutory declaration may be made under the
           law of the State in which a declaration is made; or a person appointed to hold, or act in, the office in a country or place outside Australia of
           Australian Consul-General, Consul, Vice-Consul, Trade Commissioner, Consular Agent, Ambassador, High Commissioner, Minister, Head
           of Mission, Commissioner, Charge d’Affaires, or Counsellor, Secretary or Attache at an Embassy, High Commissioner’s office, Legation or
           other post.
           APPLICANT CONTACT DETAILS: (in the event we need to contact you regarding your application please provide
           relevant details)
           Contact phone number: ..........................................................……………………….…………………………………………
           Alternative Contact Phone number: (after hours/mobile) ......................……………………….………………………………
           Email address:
           ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
                      22.24         Application for certificate of no impediment to marriage –
                                 other countries
                                                                                          [COAT OF ARMS]

                                                         COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
                                              APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATE OF NO IMPEDIMENT TO MARRIAGE

                      I,...................................................................……………, of
                      (address).....................................................................
                      .........................................................................................................................................................................
                      .........
                      apply for a Certificate of No Impediment in respect of my proposed marriage in (name of overseas country)
                      ………………………………………….........................to...…………………………………………………………
                      ………
        in support I provide the following particulars-                                                    Male                                                  Female


1. Surname                                                                           1....................................………………              1....................................………………


2. Christian or given names                                                          2....................................………………              2....................................………………


3. Country of Citizenship                                                            3....................................………………              3....................................………………


4. Australian Residency status                                                       4....................................………………              4....................................………………
 (i.e. Permanent Resident or Non-Resident)

5. Usual occupation                                                                  5....................................………………              5....................................………………


6. Usual place of address (in full]                                                  6....................................………………              6....................................………………

                                                                                     ................................…………………                  ................................…………………
7. Have you been married before? (Yes/No)                                            7................................…………………                 7................................…………………


7(a). If yes to 7, please provide details of how that marriage was                   7(a) ....................................……………           7(a) ....................................…………
terminated.

8. Place of birth                                                                    8………………………………………                                         8………………………………………
 Indicate town/city and State/Territory
  (and country if born outside Australia)
9. Date of birth                                                                     9....................................………………              9....................................………………


9(a). If under 18 provide details of judicial authorisation                          9(a) ................................……………               9(a) ................................……………


10. Are you and the other party related? (Yes/No)                                    10..................................………………               10..................................………………


10(a). If yes to 10 please provide details of relationship                           10(a) ..............................……………                10(a) ..............................……………


11. Father’s name (in full)                                                          11…………………………….………                                        11…………………………….………



12. Mother’s maiden name (in full)                                                   12………………………………………                                        12……………………………………
        I do solemnly and sincerely declare that the above information is correct and that I believe there is no legal
                                        impediment to the marriage by reason of-

  (a)       either of us being lawfully married to some other person;
(b)        our being within a prohibited relationship;
(c)        either of us not being of marriageable age; or
(d)        other circumstances

        Signature of person making the
        declaration............................................................................................... ............……………………

Declared at.................................................………on the...................…………....day
of...............………………............……..20…..
           Witnessed by*:
           ..............................................................……………………….……………………………………………….…………
           ...
           (Signature, name and title of person witnessing the declaration.)
*The persons before whom this declaration may be made are: a legal practitioner; a medical practitioner; an Australian
Consular Officer; an Australian Diplomatic Officer; a person authorised under section 3(c) or 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act
1955; a bailiff; a civil marriage celebrant; a clerk of a court; a Justice of the Peace; a magistrate; a minister of religion; a
Notary Public; a police officer; a Registrar or Deputy Registrar of a court; or a permanent employee (with 5 or more years of
continuous service) of a local government authority or of Commonwealth, State or Territory government or authority.
           APPLICANT CONTACT DETAILS: (in the event we need to contact you regarding your application please
           provide relevant details)
Contact phone number: ...........................................................……………………….………………………………………….
Alternative Contact Phone number: (after hours/mobile) ......................……………………….……………………………….
Email address:
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
     22.25      Certificate of no impediment to marriage

                                        [Coat of Arms]

                           COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
                           CERTIFICATE OF NO IMPEDIMENT

[Name], an Australian citizen / a permanent / temporary resident of Australia born on [date]
at [place] in [country] has requested a Certificate of No Impediment in relation to [his/her]
proposed marriage in [country] to [name], [a/an] [nationality] citizen born on [date] at [place]
in [country].
This is to certify that there is no Australian law that prohibits an Australian citizen or person
domiciled in Australia from marrying a citizen of [country] in [country] and that a marriage
celebrated in [country] according to the law of [country] between an Australian citizen or
person domiciled in Australia and a citizen of [country] would normally be recognised as
valid in Australia.
[Name] has stated that the information contained in [his/her] application for a Certificate ofNo
Impediment is true and correct. I am unable to verify whether this information is true and
correct but, on the basis that it is, there is no legal reason why [name] cannot marry [name].
Marriage according to law in Australia is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of
all others, voluntarily entered into for life, subject to dissolution by law.
[Name of Signatory]
Title
Australian Embassy/High Commission/Consulate
Location [City and country]
Date

22.26 Preventing fraud – binding and other procedures
It is important that legal documents are not tampered with or have anything added to them
after statements have been sworn and the document serviced. Binding documents, lining
through blank spaces, initialling pages and alterations, and placing stamps over signatures
help prevent this.
Documents (and exhibits) covering more than one sheet of paper can be bound to assist in
preventing extra pages being fraudulently added after witnessing. However, it is not
necessary for the consular officer to bind those pages unless a client specifically requests it
or if, due to reasons of space, the authentication stamp needs to be attached to the
document on a separate sheet. In these cases, the entire document must be bound with
ribbon, with the ends of the tape covered by a notarial wafer affixed to the sheet containing
the certificate/jurat/attestation. The official seal should then be impressed through the wafer
and that part of the document upon which it is affixed, but not through the whole document.
Before binding a document, the consular officer must ensure it is signed on every page by
the deponent. This precludes the possibility of adding or deleting sheets after the document
has been bound. However, note that the requirement to sign every page is only for
documents that DFAT is binding. Documents of more than one page that do not need a
DFAT bind do not need to be signed on every page.
Interlineations and alterations must be authenticated by the initials of the deponent and the
consular officer. In the case of an erasure, any words or figures written over the erasures are
to be written in the margin and the erasure and the words written in the margin initialled by
the deponent and the consular officer.
When there are large spaces at the end of statements or between them, the client should be
prompted to draw a Z-shaped line through these to ensure nothing can be inserted later.
Statutory Declarations in particular often require this.
The official stamp (wet seal) should, if possible, be placed over part of the consular officer’s
signature (usually over the top right hand corner) to make it difficult to photocopy that
signature for fraudulent purposes.

Binding a document
Binding a document makes it impossible for anyone to add another page without it being
obvious. It involves tying the pages of the document together with ribbon rather than stapling
them, and placing a dry seal over the trailing ends of the ribbon
To bind a document correctly you need:
    a one hole-punch
    a length of green ribbon, about 5 mm wide and 20 cm long
    a red wafer seal
    an embossing tool with the official seal.
Steps to binding a document
1. Put a hole through the top left hand corner of the document and all its pages     with the
hole punch, about 2 cm from each edge.
2. Fold the ribbon in half and push the folded end through the hole.
3. Turn the trailing ends over the top of the document and pass them through         the loop in
the folded end. Tie a small knot.
4. Pull the knot around to the front of the document, extend the trailing ends of    the ribbon
and place them so they form a v-shape about 2 cm apart on the page.
5. Place a red wafer seal so that it covers both the trailing ends of ribbon.        Press it
down firmly.
6. Using the embossing tool, insert only the front page under the seal and           push the
handle down firmly to impress the official seal onto the wafer.
If there is not enough room to place the trailing ends of the ribbon and the seal on the front
page without covering up text, pull the knot to the back of the page and seal the trailing ends
on the back instead.


Chapter 23:                    Notarial and other legal procedures

23.1    Authority to issue apostilles
23.3    Taking evidence
23.4    Taking evidence in Australia
23.5    Letters of no objection
23.6    Service of documents overseas
23.7    Service on Australia-based staff
23.8    Service of documents in Australia
23.9    Authentication of school certificates
23.10   Educational certificates
23.11   Sample educational certificate
23.12   Eligibility to enter a tertiary institute
23.13   Standing of an educational organisation
23.14   Supervision of examinations overseas

23.1 Authority to issue apostilles
Only Australian diplomatic and consular officers working in DFAT Canberra, or in a state or
territory office can issue an apostille .An apostille can only be placed on documents bearing
the signature/stamp/seal of someone holding an Australian public office, such as an
Australian government official or an Australian notary public. If the document is not an
Australian public document, it must be notarised by an Australian notary public before an
apostille can be requested. Once an apostille stamp is affixed to a public document, it does
not need to be re-certified overseas by an Australian post.
Advise clients seeking an apostille to submit the relevant documents (providing they are
public documents) to the DFAT state or territory office in which the document was issued. If
there is doubt about whether a document qualifies as a public document, the client should
seek clarification from the relevant state or territory DFAT office before the document/s are
sent to the office. The notarial guidelines provide further advice on the issue of apostilles.
Authenticity of an Australian apostille
The Canberra office and each state or territory office maintain separate registers of the
apostilles they have issued. The registration number usually consists of one alphabetical
character followed by a four-digit number. The alphabetical character denotes which state or
territory office has issued the apostille: A for Adelaide, B for Brisbane, C for Canberra, D for
Darwin, H for Hobart, M for Melbourne, P for Perth and S for Sydney (eg. the first apostille
registered in Sydney was numbered S0001). Apostilles issued in Canberra and numbered
C28-C532 inclusive, while not containing leading zeroes in the registered number, are valid.
Steps to issue an apostille
The issuing officer should:
1.       Check the document is an Australian public document, or bears the
         signature/stamp or seal of someone holding a public office in Australia.
2.       Open the Signature and Seals database in CMIS and click on the name of                  the
person whose signature or seal to be authenticated. The database will             show an example
of their signature or seal.
3.       Compare the two. If the issuing officer is completely satisfied the signature
         and/or seal on the document is the same as the one demonstrated in CMIS,
         they may go ahead and authenticate the document by placing the apostille
         stamp on it, signing it, filling in the details requested, and placing the     official
stamp over the corner of their signature.
4.       The issuing officer should then impress the official dry seal over a red wafer
         onto the place indicated, using the embossing tool,.
5.       Register the apostille.
Form of the certificate
The certificate is in the form of a square with sides at least 9 centimetres long as shown
below:

                                           APOSTILLE
                          (Convention de la Haye du 5 Octobre 1961)

         1.    Country………………………………………………………………...………………


               This public document


         2.    has been signed by………………………………………………….….…………….


         3.    acting in the capacity of…………………………………………….….……………..


         4.    bears the seal/stamp of……………………………………………………………….
              Certified


        5.    at…………………………………..                    6.    the ……………………………………..


        7.    by…………………………………………………………………….…………………


        8.    No……………………………………………………………………………………….


        9.    Seal/stamp……………………………………………………………………………..


        10.   Signature………………………………………………………………..……………..
The apostille certificate must not be placed over any of the text of the document. If
necessary, it can be placed on the back of the document, or another page added. If another
page is added, the document must be bound. (see binding 22.26)
CMIS can be used to print onto the document an apostille stamp, already completed with the
required details.
Issuing an apostille is a single notarial act described in 22.8 on the consular fees schedule. If
it consists of more than one page the binding fee is added, unless binding only became
necessary because a second page was added to accommodate the stamp.

23.2 Taking evidence
The conventions on Legal Proceedings in Civil and Commercial Matters, as well as the
Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters
(1970) and a number of bilateral agreements, make provision for taking evidence for use in
civil proceedings in Australia in countries that are party to the conventions. When no formal
arrangements exist between Australia and foreign countries for taking evidence, requests for
assistance of the foreign court are based on international comity (courtesy).
There are four main procedures for taking evidence:
      evidence taken by courts in the foreign country in response to a ‘Letter of Request’
        or ‘Rogatory Commission’ from an Australian court
      evidence taken in the foreign country by consular officers at Australian posts
      evidence taken in the foreign country by a ‘commissioner’ appointed by the
        Australian court
      evidence taken from a witness in the foreign country by the Australian court by
        video link.
Available methods vary from country to country, depending on the terms of the conventions
and the reservations by countries which have ratified them. The Internet web site of the
Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department provides comprehensive information
on the procedures applicable in foreign countries: http://www.ag.gov.au/ija
Canberra provides detailed instructions when evidence is to be taken in a foreign country by
a consular officer. Taking evidence from a witness in a foreign country by an Australian court
via video link is generally not provided for in the relevant conventions or agreements.
Requests to take video evidence are dealt with as a matter of comity (international courtesy).
Posts may be requested by Canberra to determine whether local authorities object to video
evidence in their territory by Australian courts, and provide details of the procedures that
must be followed before this evidence can be taken.
Appointment of a special examiner
A diplomatic or consular officer may be appointed as a special examiner to take the
evidence. The function of the special examiner is to chair the proceedings. Counsel for both
parties is usually present.
Generally, the special examiner must swear in the shorthand reporter and interpreter, if any,
and then the witness. The counsel proceeds in turn with their examination of the witness.
Should either counsel object to a question by the other, this must be noted in the record.
Once the examination is completed, the special examiner must read the depositions to the
witness and have them sign them. The special examiner will then sign and seal the
document at the conclusion of the depositions. The document must be returned to the
relevant court in Australia.
Canberra will provide consular officers with the necessary instructions, and the appointed
officer may also be able to discuss procedure with counsel, prior to the commencement of
the proceedings.

23.3 Letters of no objection
Consular staff at posts are often called upon to provide documents titled Letters of No
Objection. These are generally required as part of the paperwork submitted to a host
government in relation to, for example, Australians applying for visas from third countries.
Posts providing these letters should not indicate support for this travel, but rather that the
Australian government does not object to it.
When the Letter of No Objection is for a country with a do not travel warning, consular staff
should request that the client sign a declaration stating that:
      they have read and understood the contents of the current travel advice for the
         country
      they claim full responsibility for their decision to travel despite the warnings
      they understand the Australian Government can only provide limited consular
         assistance in that country.
Letters of No Objection for entry into Gaza require approval from either the Minister or the
Consular Policy and Training Section, depending on the circumstances.
The consular fee for this service is in 22.8.

23.4 Service of documents overseas
Australia is a party to a series of uniform conventions on legal proceedings in civil and
commercial matters. The conventions which deal with the methods of serving legal process
and taking evidence, generally direct service requests, are made through the diplomatic
channel to the relevant authority in the country to which the request for service has been
directed.
Requests for service of legal documents overseas generally originate in the superior courts
of the states and territories, following an application by one or both parties to the
proceedings. Once the documentation is complete, including translations into the language
of the requested country, it is sealed by the court and sent to the relevant state premier’s
department which will, in turn, ask the Department to arrange for service. The Department
sends the documents to the appropriate post.
The post’s responsibility is to ensure that the request for service is passed to the competent
local authorities (in the first instance, the Foreign Ministry) and, once service has been
effected, to advise the Department of the costs so these may be recovered from the party
making the original request.
When served documents are returned to the post by the local authorities, it is important they
are accompanied by a Certificate of Service or an Affidavit of Service. The Certificate of
Service, which is to be returned by the post to the Department, should indicate how the
person to be served was identified, how service was effected, and the date the service was
effected. It should also be signed by the person who served the documents.
When no convention for legal proceedings exists between Australia and a foreign country,
persons wishing to effect service in that country are generally referred to private legal
channels for assistance. There are, however, exceptional cases when the Department will
assist in the absence of such a convention. For example Japan, where service of foreign
process is not permitted through private channels..

23.5 Service on Australia-based staff
Australia-based staff overseas are not immune from the jurisdiction of the Australian courts
and authorities but are, generally, immune from the service of legal process in the country to
which they are accredited. This makes the service of Australian legal documents on them
through the usual channels problematic.
Heads of Mission may therefore be requested to (in confidence) serve documents arising
from Australian court proceedings on Australia-based staff in their mission. Service by a
Head of Mission would not involve the costs of attempted service by an agent or local
authority, which could fall to the officer. The Head of Mission may, at their discretion, choose
either to serve the documents on the officer or return them un-actioned to the Department.

23.6 Service of documents in Australia
It is unlikely that Australian missions abroad will be approached for advice or assistance in
serving foreign process in Australia. In the case of countries party to the relevant convention,
requests for service from foreign courts are transmitted to the appropriate state or territory
authorities for action via that country’s mission in Australia and the Department.
When no convention exists, persons wishing to serve foreign civil process in Australia should
make their own arrangements through private legal channels. If service is required by the
initiating foreign court to be effected through diplomatic channels in Australia, assistance
may be provided as a matter of comity. Further information on the service of process abroad
and in Australia are on the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department’s website
at http://www.ag.gov.au/ija

23.7 Authentication of school certificates
Persons seeking authentication of school certificates issued by state education authorities
should be asked to produce the original of the documents or a copy or photocopy certified by
the authority which issued the original document. Posts should not authenticate educational
certificates unless the signature of the authorised signatory is known to them.

23.8   Educational certificates
Frequently, before a student can be enrolled abroad, a school will require a certificate which
states the level of education achieved in Australia. This should be provided in general terms,
on the basis of evidence produced by the applicant. As the requirements of Australian states
vary in terms of years of attendance and definition of levels reached in both primary and
secondary education, these certificates should be based on years of study.: For example, if
a student has completed Third Form in Victoria, the certificate should state that the student
has completed nine years of schooling.
When a student has not completed a full year, the certificate should indicate this by stating in
terms of the example above, that the student has completed eight years of schooling, and
has attended one term of the ninth year of education.
A certificate may include only details supported by acceptable documentary evidence. If the
evidence available is inadequate, officers should suggest writing to the school or institute
involved to obtain the necessary evidence.
23.9    Sample educational certificate
       These certificates should take a form similar to the following:

                   ‘I,…………………………………………………………………(name)

                   …………………………………………………………………….(rank)

                   hereby certify that………………………………………………….……

                   ………………………………………………………..(name of student)

                   has completed . . . . . . . years of schooling in

                   ………………………………………………………, Australia. He/she is
                   eligible in Australia to proceed to year

                   ……………………………………………………..(or University etc.)’

                   …………………………………………………………………………..
                   (Signature)

                   …………………………………………………………………………..
                   (Rank)


23.10 Eligibility to enter a tertiary institute
Posts may be asked to provide a certificate stating that an Australian is eligible to enter a
tertiary institute in Australia. This certificate should not be given without documentary proof.
Persons educated in Australia who seek certificates confirming their eligibility to enter tertiary
institutes in Australia, should be advised to request this statement from the appropriate
authority in the relevant state. When this statement is subsequently produced, the consular
officer may then issue a certificate.

23.11        Standing of an educational organisation
In some cases, particularly organisations at the tertiary level, a certificate is required stating
that a particular Australian educational organisation has a particular educational level.
These certificates can only be given when consular officers are aware that the information is
correct. The required information can frequently be obtained from university or other tertiary
handbooks.

23.12 Supervision of examinations overseas
On some occasions posts may be requested to supervise examinations arranged for
Australian state or federal educational institutions. However, this facility is extended only
when satisfactory local alternatives for supervising examinations are not available. Offices of
the British Council can often assist in providing supervision for examinations.
When no alternative local arrangements can be made, posts should attempt, as far as
practical, to provide assistance. Spouses of A-based staff can often assist in these cases.
While the post will facilitate contact between the examiners and supervisors, all financial
arrangements should be made directly between those two parties.
When examination supervision is sought by an Australian commercial education service
provider, even when that body may be contracted by the Australian government to deliver
educational services in Australia or overseas, it is not appropriate from a commercial ethical
perspective for posts’ resources to be used for this. Posts may, however, assist a
commercial provider in finding a suitable organisation in country to provide the supervision
service on a commercial basis.
When conducted by post staff, all fees for supervision of examinations by officers should be
paid into revenue-Miscellaneous-Consular Fees. It is not expected that any circumstances
will require an examination to be supervised outside office hours and posts should decline
requests for this. If, however, exceptional circumstances require an examination outside
office hours, the officer undertaking supervision may be entitled to overtime.
Appendices
Part 1 :   Confidentiality, privacy and police
           matters
Chapter 2:   The Privacy Act
Appendix 2A:               Information privacy principles
   Principle 1         Manner and purpose of collection of personal information
Personal information shall not be collected by a collector for inclusion in a record or in a
    generally available publication unless:
 (b) the information is collected for a purpose that is a lawful purpose directly related to a
     function or activity of the collector; and
 (c) the collection of the information is necessary for or directly related to that purpose.
Personal information shall not be collected by a collector by unlawful or unfair means.

   Principle 2 Solicitation of personal information from individual concerned
Where:
 (a) a collector collects personal information for inclusion in a record or in a generally
     available publication; and
 (b) the information is solicited by the collector from the individual concerned;

         the collector shall take such steps (if any) as are, in the circumstances, reasonable to
         ensure that, before the information is collected, the individual concerned is generally
         aware of:
 (c) the purpose for which the information is being collected;
 (d) if the collection of the information is authorised or required by or under law-the fact
     that the collection of the information is so authorised or required; and
 (e) any person to whom, or any body or agency to which it is the collector’s usual practice
     to disclose personal information of the kind so collected, and (if known by the
     collector) any person to whom, or any body or agency to which, it is the usual practice
     of that first-mentioned person, body or agency to pass on that information.

    Principle 3 Solicitation of personal information generally
Where:
 (f) a collector collects personal information for inclusion in a record or in a generally
      available publication; and
 (g) the information is solicited by the collector;

         the collector shall take such steps (if any) as are, in the circumstances, reasonable to
         ensure that, having regard to the purpose for which the information is collected:
 (h) the information collected is relevant to that purpose and is up-to-date and complete;
     and
 (i)     the collection of the information does not intrude to an unreasonable extent upon the
         personal affairs of the individual concerned.

       Principle 4 Storage and security of personal information
1.      A record-keeper who has possession or control of a record that contains personal
        information shall ensure:
 (j)     that the record is protected, by such security safeguards as it is reasonable in the
         circumstances to take, against loss, against unauthorised access use, modification or
         disclosure, and against other misuse, and
 (k) that if it is necessary for the record to be given to a person in connection with the
     provision of a service to the record-keeper, everything reasonably within the power of
     the record-keeper is done to prevent unauthorised use or disclosure of information
     contained in the record.
       Principle 5 Information relating to records kept by record-keeper
2.      A record-keeper who has possession or control of records that contain personal
        information shall, subject to clause 2 of this Principle, take such steps as are, in the
        circumstances, reasonable to enable any person to ascertain:
 (l)     whether the record-keeper has possession or control of any records that contain
         personal information, and
 (m) if the record-keeper has possession or control of a record that contains such
     information:
            the nature of that information
            the main purposes for which that information is used, and
                 the steps that the person should take if the person wishes to obtain access to
                 the record.
A record-keeper is not required under Clause 1 of this Principle to give a person information
    if the record-keeper is required or authorised to refuse to give that information to the
    person under the applicable provisions of any law of the Commonwealth that provides
    for access by persons to documents.
A record-keeper shall maintain a record setting out:
 (n) the nature of the records of personal information kept by or on behalf of the record-
      keeper
 (o) the purpose for which each type of record is kept
 (p) the classes of individuals about whom records are kept
 (q) the period for which each type of record is kept
 (r) the persons who are entitled to have access to personal information
 (s) the steps that should be taken by persons wishing to obtain access to that information.
A record-keeper shall:
 (t) make the record maintained under Clause 3 of this Principle available for inspection by
      members of the public; and
 (u) give the Commissioner, in the month of June in each year, a copy of the record so
      maintained.

    Principle 6 Access to records containing personal information
Where a record-keeper has possession or control of a record that contains personal
information, the individual concerned shall be entitled to have access to that record, except
to the extent that the record-keeper is required or authorised to refuse to provide the
individual with access to that record under the applicable provisions of any law of the
Commonwealth that provides for access by persons to documents.

   Principle 7 Alteration of records containing personal information
3.  A record-keeper who has possession or control of a record that contains personal
    information shall take such steps (if any), by way of making appropriate corrections,
    deletions and additions as are, in the circumstances, reasonable to ensure that the
    record:
 (v) is accurate, and
 (w) is, having regard to the purpose for which the information was collected or is to be
      used and to any purpose that is directly related to that purpose, relevant, up-to-date,
      complete and not misleading.
The obligation imposed on a record-keeper by Clause 1 is subject to any applicable
    limitation in a law of the Commonwealth that provides a right to require the correction or
    amendment of documents.
Where:
                 (a) the record-keeper of a record containing personal information is not
                     willing to amend that record, by making a correction, deletion or addition,
                     in accordance with a request by the individual concerned, and
 (x) no decision or recommendation to the effect that the record should be amended wholly
      or partly in accordance with that request has been made under the applicable
      provisions of a law of the Commonwealth,
    the record-keeper shall, if so requested by the individual concerned, take such steps (if
    any) as are reasonable in the circumstances to attach to the record any statement
    provided by that individual of the correction, deletion or addition sought.

    Principle 8 Record-keeper to check accuracy etc. of personal information before
    use
A record-keeper who has possession or control of a record that contains personal
information shall not use that information without taking such steps (if any) as are, in the
circumstances, reasonable to ensure that, having regard to the purpose for which the
information is proposed to be used, the information is accurate, up-to-date and complete.

    Principle 9 Personal information to be used only for relevant purposes
A record-keeper who has possession or control of a record that contains personal
information shall not use the information except for a purpose to which the information is
relevant.

   Principle 10 Limits on use of personal information
4.  A record-keeper who has possession or control of a record that contains personal
    information that was obtained for a particular purpose shall not use the information for
    any other purpose unless:
 (y) the individual concerned has consented to the use of the information for that other
      purpose
 (z) the record-keeper believes on reasonable grounds that use of the information for that
      other purpose is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the
      life or health of the individual concerned or another person
 (aa) use of the information for that other purpose is required or authorised by or under law
 (bb) use of the information for that other purpose is reasonably necessary for enforcement
      of the criminal law or of a law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or for the protection of the
      public revenue, or
 (cc) the purpose for which the information is used is directly related to the purpose for
      which the information was obtained.
Where personal information is used for enforcement of the criminal law or of a law imposing
   a pecuniary penalty, or for the protection of the public revenue, the record-keeper shall
   include in the record containing that information a note of that use.

    Principle 11 Limits on disclosure of personal information
5.   A record-keeper who has possession or control of a record that contains personal
     information shall not disclose the information to a person, body or agency (other than
     the individual concerned) unless:
 (dd) the individual concerned is reasonably likely to have been aware, or made aware
       under Principle 2, that information of that kind is usually passed to that person, body or
       agency
 (ee) the individual concerned has consented to the disclosure
 (ff) the record-keeper believes on reasonable grounds that the disclosure is necessary to
       prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of the individual
       concerned or of another person
 (gg) the disclosure is required or authorised by or under law, or
 (hh) the disclosure is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law or of a
      law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or for the protection of the public revenue.
Where personal information is disclosed for the purposes of enforcement of the criminal law
   or of a law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or for the purpose of the protection of the
   public revenue, the record-keeper shall include in the record containing that information
   a note of the disclosure.

      A person, body or agency to whom personal information is disclosed under Clause 1 of
      this Principle shall not use or disclose the information for a purpose other than the
      purpose for which the information was given to the person, body or agency.

     Application of information privacy principles
6.    Information Privacy Principles 1, 2, 3, 10 and 11 apply only in relation to information
      collected after the commencement of the Privacy Act 1988(‘the Act).
Information Privacy Principles 4 to 9, inclusive, apply in relation to information contained in a
     record in the possession or under the control of any agency, whether the information
     was collected before, or is collected after, the commencement of the Act.
    Agencies to comply with information privacy principles
An agency shall not do an act, or engage in a practice, that breaches an Information Privacy
Principle.
     Guidelines relating to tax file number information
7.    The Commissioner shall, by notice in writing, issue guidelines concerning the collection,
      storage, use and security of tax file number information.
A guideline issued under sub-section (1) is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of
    Section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.
Section 48 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 applies to guidelines issued under Sub-
    Section (1) as if paragraph (1) (b) of Section 48 were omitted and the following
    paragraph substituted:
 (ii) shall, subject to this section, take effect:
          (i)   on the first day on which the guidelines are no longer liable to be disallowed,
                or to be deemed to be disallowed, under this section; or
          if the guidelines make provision for their commencement after the day referred to in
                sub-paragraph (i), in accordance with that provision; and’
Until the first guidelines take effect for the purposes of sub-section (1), the interim guidelines
     set out in Schedule 2 [Privacy Act 1988] have effect, for the purposes of any provision
     of the Act other than sub-Section (1), (2), or (3), as if they were guidelines issued under
     sub-section (1).
     File number recipients to comply with guidelines
A file number recipient shall not do an act, or engage in a practice, that breaches a guideline
      issued under Section 17.
Appendix 2B:                  Public interest determination
                                     PRIVACY ACT 1988

                                           PART VI

                        PUBLIC INTEREST DETERMINATION NO. 7
                      (As amended by Public Interest Determination 7A)
                                         (PID 7)

                                 DATED 21 OCTOBER 1997

IN RESPECT OF:

     Application No       7

     Applicant            Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

     Nature of            to permit disclosure of personal information of Australians
     Application          overseas to their nominated contact in certain limited
                          circumstances.

     Information
     Privacy

     Principle involved   Information Privacy Principle 11

DETERMINATION
Under section 72 of the Privacy Act 1988 I give notice of my Determination as follows:
    A waiver is granted from compliance with Information Privacy Principle 11.1 in
       relation to the acts or practices outlined in this Determination. Information Privacy
       Principle 11.1 of the Privacy Act 1988 places limits on disclosure of personal
       information as follows:
 (jj) A record-keeper who has possession or control of a record that contains personal
      information shall not disclose the information to a person, body or agency (other than
      the individual concerned) unless:
 (kk) the individual concerned is reasonably likely to be aware, or made aware under
      Principle 2, that information of that kind is usually passed to that person, body or
      agency
 (ll) the individual concerned has consented to the disclosure
 (mm)                the record-keeper believes on reasonable grounds that the disclosure
    is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of
    the individual concerned or of another person
 (nn) the disclosure is required or authorised by law
 (oo) the disclosure is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law or of a
      law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or for the protection of the public revenue.

    1. Acts or Practices Permitted
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (‘the department’) may disclose personal
information about Australian nationals travelling overseas in the following circumstances:

8.   Where the department believes on reasonable grounds that:
 (pp) there is a serious threat to the health of an Australian overseas, and
 (qq) the individual concerned is unable because of the nature of his or her illness to give
      informed consent to the disclosure, and
         (ii) the disclosure is necessary to reduce a threat to the life or health of the
              individual concerned, or
         the disclosure is necessary for humanitarian reasons related to the individual or the
              family
       … the department may disclose, on its own initiative, personal information about the
       individual to his or her nominated contact.

Where:
 (rr) an Australian overseas has been arrested or imprisoned, and
 (ss) information about such an event has been made publicly available,

      … the department may, in response to a request from the individual’s nominated
      contact, confirm, correct or clarify information about the facts of the event that have
      already been made publicly available. Any disclosure of additional personal
      information must be permitted by another provision of this Determination or by IPP 11.
Where:
 (tt) a request for welfare and whereabouts information about an Australian overseas has
      been made by that individual’s nominated contact, and
 (uu) the individual has refused his or her consent to the disclosure of some or all of the
      requested information
       … the department may disclose to the nominated contact the fact that the individual
       has refused his or her consent to the disclosure of some or all of the requested
       information. In making such disclosure, the department should have regard to any
       compelling reasons given by the individual for no information to be provided at all.

   2. Conditions
The Determination shall be subject to the following conditions:

9.   Decisions concerning disclosures made under this Determination may only be made by
     a senior officer of the department authorised by the Minister.
The department shall develop guidelines subject to the Privacy Commissioner’s approval to
    assist with the application of this Determination. The guidelines should stipulate that the
    provisions of the Determination should not be relied upon if a disclosure can otherwise
    be permitted by Information Privacy Principle 11. They shall, inter alia:
 (vv) provide guidance on ascertaining the status of a person as the ‘nominated contact’ of
      an Australian national overseas
 (ww)                 clarify the interpretation of the terms ‘humanitarian reasons’ and
     ‘publicly available information’
 (xx) require the senior authorised officer to take into account the sensitive nature of health
      or criminal records in coming to a view.
The department shall take reasonable steps to ensure that there is general public awareness
    about the Determination.
The department is required, at the end of each financial year, to report to the Privacy
    Commissioner on the number of occasions when disclosure of information under this
    Determination took place, and under which provision of the Determination each
    disclosure was authorised.
    3. Monitoring
The Privacy Commissioner shall monitor the operation of this Determination and notes that if
her office considers that the Determination is not being observed, she may make a further
Determination revoking or varying her Determination.

Dated this 21st day of October 1997


(signed)



           Moira Scollay
           Privacy Commissioner
Appendix 2C:          Summary of the Privacy Act waiver and consular
work
This summary is meant only to be a quick reference guide. In any case when a waiver is
considered, reference should be made to the full text of this chapter.

WHAT IS THE WAIVER?
The provisions of the Privacy Act 1988 apply to all personal information held at posts or in
the department in relation to consular clients.
The Department has been granted a limited waiver to the general prohibition on disclosing
personal information without consent in certain types of cases and under certain conditions.

WHY IS THE WAIVER INVOKED?
The waiver can only be invoked where:
   (a) there is no exemption available under the Act, usually under IPP 11, and
   (b) there are compelling reasons of a health or humanitarian nature that in the opinion of
       the Delegate warrant the release of otherwise non-releasable material.

IN WHAT TYPE OF CASES CAN THE WAIVER BE INVOKED?
The waiver only applies in the following three case types:
    hospitalisation (including psychiatric cases)
    arrest and detention
    welfare and whereabouts.

WHO CAN RECEIVE MATERIAL RELEASED UNDER THE WAIVER?
In general terms release may be made to the consular client’s nominated contact. A
nominated contact is:
     any person nominated by the client and need not be a relative; or failing that
     any person nominated on their passport; or failing that
     any person nominated on their passport application; or failing that
     immediate family members in the following precedence:
     spouse
     children
     parents
     siblings.

WHO INVOKES THE WAIVER?
There are only two designated positions within the department whose occupants may invoke
the waiver. The two positions are:
        Assistant Secretary, Consular Branch; and
        Director, Consular Operations.


Chapter 3: Managing allegations of criminal conduct overseas

Appendix 3A:          Australia: Crimes Act 1914: part iiia — child sex
tourism
Division 1—Preliminary
50AA General
          (1) in this Part:
              act of indecency has the meaning given by section 50AB.
              Australia includes the external Territories.
              induce means induce by threats, promises or otherwise.
              offence, in the case of a reference to an offence against this Part or against a
              particular provision of it, has a meaning affected by subsections (2) and (3) of
              this section.
              Sexual intercourse has the meaning given by section 50AC.
              vagina includes:

               (2) any part of a female person’s genitalia; and
               (3) a surgically constructed vagina.
           (4) A reference in this Part (except section 50DB) to an offence against this Part
               or against a particular provision of it includes:
               (a) a reference to:
                    (5) an offence against section 6 or 50DB; or
                    (6) an offence against section 11.1 or 11.5 of the Criminal Code;
that relates to an offence against this Part or against that provision of it; and
                    (7) a reference to an offence against this Part, or against that provision of
                    it, because of section 11.2 or 11.3 of the Criminal Code.
           (8) A reference in section 50DB to an offence against this Part or against a
               particular provision of it does not include a reference to such an offence
               because of section 11.2 of the Criminal Code.
           (9) Section 11.4 of the Criminal Code does not apply to an offence against this
               Part.
           (10) Section 11.5 of the Criminal Code does not apply to an offence against
              section 50DB.

50AB Meaning of act of indecency
      (1)  in this Part:
               act of indecency means an act that:
               (a) is of a sexual nature; and
                     (2) involves the human body, or bodily actions or functions; and
    (3) is so unbecoming or offensive that it amounts to a gross breach of ordinary
    contemporary standards of decency and propriety in the Australian community.
           (4) to avoid doubt, act of indecency includes an indecent assault.

50AC Meaning of sexual intercourse
        (1) in this Part:
               sexual intercourse means:
               (a) the penetration, to any extent, of the vagina or anus of a person by any
               part of the body of another person; or
                       (2) the penetration, to any extent, of the vagina or anus of a person,
                       carried out by another person by an object; or
    (3) fellatio; or
                     (4) cunnilingus; or
                     (5) the continuation of any activity mentioned in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or
                     (d).
          (6) Paragraph (1)(a) or (b) does not apply to an act of penetration if:
              (a) it is carried out for a proper medical or hygienic purpose; or
                     (7) it is carried out for a proper law enforcement purpose.

50AD Who can be prosecuted for an offence committed overseas
           A person must not be charged with an offence against this Part that the person
           allegedly committed outside Australia unless, at the time of the offence, the
           person was:
           (a) an Australian citizen; or
    (8) a resident of Australia; or
    (9) a body corporate incorporated by or under a law of the Commonwealth or of a State
    or Territory; or
                     (10) any other body corporate that carries on its activities principally in
                     Australia.

Division 2—Sexual offences against children overseas

50BA Sexual intercourse with child under 16
        (1) A person must not, while outside Australia, engage in sexual intercourse with a
        person who is under 16.
              Penalty:Imprisonment for 17 years.
          (2) for the purposes of an offence against subsection (1), absolute liability applies
              to the following physical elements of circumstance of the offence:
              (a) that the sexual intercourse is engaged in outside Australia;
    (3)that the person referred to in that subsection as being under 16 is in fact under 16.
          Note 1:       for absolute liability, see section 6.2 of the Criminal Code.
          Note 2:       for a defence based on belief about age, see section 50CA.

50BB Inducing child under 16 to engage in sexual intercourse
        (1) A person must not induce a person who is under 16 to engage in sexual
        intercourse with a third person outside Australia and in the presence of the
        first-mentioned person.
          Penalty:      Imprisonment for 17 years.
          (2) for the purposes of an offence against subsection (1), absolute liability applies
              to the following physical elements of circumstance of the offence:
              (a) that the sexual intercourse is engaged in outside Australia;
                     (3) that the person referred to in that subsection as being under 16 is in
                     fact under 16.
          Note 1:       for absolute liability, see section 6.2 of the Criminal Code.
          Note 2:       for a defence based on belief about age, see section 50CA.
50BC Sexual conduct involving child under 16
        (1) A person (the first person) contravenes this section if, while the first person is
        outside Australia:
                     (a) the first person commits an act of indecency on a person who is under
                     16; or
                     (2) the first person submits to an act of indecency committed by a person
                     who is under 16; or
                     (3) the first person commits an act of indecency in the presence of a
                     person who is under 16 (the child), and the first person intends to derive
                     gratification from the child’s presence during the act; or
                     (4) the first person submits to an act of indecency committed in the
                     presence of a person who is under 16 (the child), and the first person
                     intends to derive gratification from the child’s presence during the act; or
                     (5) the first person engages in sexual intercourse with another person in
                     the presence of a person who is under 16 (the child), and the first person
                     intends to derive gratification from the child’s presence during the sexual
                     intercourse.
          Penalty:      Imprisonment for 12 years.
          (6) for the purposes of an offence against subsection (1), absolute liability applies
              to such of the following physical elements of circumstance as are relevant to
              the offence:
              (a) that the first person is outside Australia;
                     (7) that the person referred to in that subsection as being under 16 is in
                     fact under 16;
                     (8) in the case of an offence against paragraph (1)(a), (b), (c) or (d)—that
                     the act of indecency referred to in that paragraph is in fact an act of
                     indecency.
          Note 1:       for absolute liability, see section 6.2 of the Criminal Code.
          Note 2:       for a defence based on belief about age, see section 50CA.

50BD Inducing child under 16 to be involved in sexual conduct
        (1) A person (the first person) must not induce a person who is under 16 to
        commit, to submit to, or to be present while a third person commits, an act of
        indecency that:
              (a) is committed outside Australia and in the presence of the first person; and
    (2) is not committed by or on the first person.
              Penalty:Imprisonment for 12 years.
       (1A)   for the purposes of an offence against subsection (1), absolute liability applies
              to the following physical elements of circumstance of the offence:
              (a) that the act of indecency is committed outside Australia;
                     (3) that the person referred to in that subsection as being under 16 is in
                     fact under 16;
                     (4) that the act of indecency referred to in that subsection is in fact an act
                     of indecency.
          Note 1:       for absolute liability, see section 6.2 of the Criminal Code.
          Note 2:      for a defence based on belief about age, see section 50CA.
          (5) A person (the first person) must not induce a person who is under 16 to be
              present while a third person engages in sexual intercourse with a fourth
              person outside Australia and in the presence of the first person.
              Penalty:Imprisonment for 12 years.
          (6) for the purposes of an offence against subsection (2), absolute liability applies
              to the following physical elements of circumstance of the offence:
              (a) that the sexual intercourse is engaged in outside Australia;
                    (7) that the person referred to in that subsection as being under 16 is in
                    fact under 16.
          Note 1:      for absolute liability, see section 6.2 of the Criminal Code.
          Note 2:      for a defence based on belief about age, see section 50CA.

Division 3—Defences
50CA Defence based on belief about age
        It is a defence to a prosecution for an offence against Division 2 that the
        defendant believed at the time of the sexual intercourse or act of indecency that
        the person in relation to whom the offence was allegedly committed was 16 or
        over.
          Note:       A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in this
          section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

50CB Defence based on valid and genuine marriage
        It is a defence to a prosecution for an offence against Division 2 that:
              (a) at the time of the sexual intercourse or act of indecency, there existed
              between the defendant and the person in relation to whom the offence was
              allegedly committed a marriage that was valid, or recognised as valid, under
              the law of:
                  (i) the place where the marriage was solemnised; or
                  (8) the place where the offence was allegedly committed; or
                  (9) the place of the defendant’s residence or domicile; and
    (10) when it was solemnised, the marriage was genuine.
          Note:        A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in
          this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

50CC Defence must be proved on balance of probabilities
        A defence under this Division must be proved on the balance of probabilities.

50CD Jury may consider reasonableness of alleged belief
        in determining whether the defendant believed as mentioned in section 50CA, the
        jury may take into account whether the alleged belief was reasonable in the
        circumstances.

Division 4—Offences of benefiting from, or encouraging, offences against this Part

50DA Benefiting from offence against this Part
        (1) A person contravenes this section if:
              (a) the person does an act, or makes an omission, whether within or outside
              Australia, with the intention of benefiting, whether financially or not, from
              conduct of a kind that would constitute an offence against this Part; and
              (2) the act or omission is reasonably capable of resulting in the person
              benefiting from such conduct;
             whether or not that conduct in fact occurs or has occurred.
          Penalty:  Imprisonment for 17 years.
       (1A)   Absolute liability applies to paragraph (1)(b).
          Note:        for absolute liability, see section 6.2 of the Criminal Code.
       (1B)   in a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1), it is not necessary to
              prove that the defendant knew that the conduct mentioned in paragraph (1)(a)
              would be of a kind that would constitute an offence against this Part.
          (3) An example of an act covered by paragraph (1)(b) is profiting from an
              arrangement that facilitates an offence against this Part.

50DB Encouraging offence against this Part
        (1) A person contravenes this section if:
              (a) the person does an act, or makes an omission, whether within or outside
              Australia, with the intention of encouraging conduct of a kind that would
              constitute an offence against this Part (other than this section); and
    (2) the act or omission is reasonably capable of encouraging such conduct;
              whether or not that conduct in fact occurs.
                  Penalty: Imprisonment for 17 years.
       (1A)   Absolute liability applies to paragraph (1)(b).
          Note:        for absolute liability, see section 6.2 of the Criminal Code.
       (1B)   in a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1), it is not necessary to
              prove that the defendant knew that the conduct mentioned in paragraph (1)(a)
              would be of a kind that would constitute an offence against this Part (other
              than this section).
          (3) in this section:
              encourage means:
                  (a) encourage, incite to, or urge, by any means whatever, for example, by
                  written, electronic or other form of communication; or
    (4) aid, facilitate, or contribute to, in any way whatever.
          (5) These are examples of acts covered by paragraph (1)(b):
              (a) organising an arrangement that facilitates an offence against this Part
              (other than this section);
    (6) assisting a person to travel outside Australia in order to commit an act that would
    constitute an offence against Division 2;
                   (7) advertising an offer so to assist a person or an arrangement for so
                   assisting a person.
Division 5—Video link evidence
50EA When court may take evidence by video link
          in a proceeding for an offence against this Part, the court may direct that a
          witness give evidence by video link if:
                  (a) the witness will give the evidence from outside Australia; and
                  (8) the witness is not a defendant in the proceeding; and
                  (9) the facilities required by section 50EC are available or can reasonably
                  be made available; and
                  (10) the court is satisfied that attendance of the witness at the court to
                  give the evidence would:
                   (i) cause unreasonable expense or inconvenience; or
                   11) cause the witness psychological harm or unreasonable distress; or
                   (12) cause the witness to become so intimidated or distressed that his or
                         her reliability as a witness would be significantly reduced; and
    (13) the court is satisfied that it is consistent with the interests of justice that the
    evidence be taken by video link.

50EB Motion of parties
        A direction can only be made on application by a party to the proceeding.

50EC Technical requirements for video link
        (1) A witness can give evidence under a direction only if:
             (a) the courtroom or other place in Australia where the court is sitting (the
             Australian point); and
                 (2) the place where the evidence is given (the overseas point);
are equipped with video facilities that:
                  (3) enable appropriate persons at the Australian point to see and hear the
                  witness give the evidence; and
                  (4) enable appropriate persons at the overseas point to see and hear
                  appropriate persons at the Australian point.
          (5) in subsection (1):
          appropriate persons means such persons as the court considers appropriate.

50ED Application of laws about witnesses
        (1) A person who gives evidence under a direction is taken to give it at the
        courtroom or other place in Australia where the court is sitting.
          (2) Subsection (1) has effect, for example, for the purposes of laws relating to
              evidence, procedure, contempt of court and perjury.

50EE Administration of oaths and affirmations
        An oath or affirmation to be sworn or made by a witness who is to give evidence
        under a direction may be administered either:
                  (a) by means of the video link, in as nearly as practicable the same way
                  as if the witness were to give the evidence at the courtroom or other place
                  in Australia where the court is sitting; or
                  (3) as follows:
                  (i) on behalf of the court and as directed by it;
                  (4) by a person (whether an Australian official or not) authorised by the
                        court;
                  (5) at the place where the witness is to give the evidence.
50EF Expenses
        A court may make such orders as are just for payment of expenses incurred in
        connection with giving evidence under a direction by the court under this Division.

50EG Other laws about foreign evidence not affected
        This Division does not prevent any other law about taking evidence of a witness
        outside Australia from applying for the purposes of a proceeding for an offence
        against this Part.
Division 6—Other rules about conduct of trials
50FA Certain material taken to be evidence of age
            (1) in determining for the purposes of this Part whether a person is under 16,
            or was under 16 at a particular time, or how old a person is or was at a
            particular time, a jury or court may treat any of the following as admissible
            evidence:
                   (a) the person’s appearance;
                   (2) medical or other scientific opinion;
                   (3) a document that is or appears to be an official or medical record from
                   a country outside Australia;
                   (4) a document that is or appears to be a copy of such a record.
          (5) This section does not make any other kind of evidence inadmissible, and does
              not affect a prosecutor’s duty to do all he or she can to adduce the best
              possible evidence for determining the question.
          (6) If, on a trial for an offence against this Part, evidence may be treated as
              admissible because of subsection (1), the court must warn the jury that it must
              be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt in determining the question.

50FB Alternative verdicts
            (1) If, on a trial for an offence against section 50BA, the jury is not satisfied
            that the defendant is guilty of the offence, but is satisfied that he or she is
            guilty of an offence against section 50BC, it may find the defendant not guilty
            of the offence against section 50BA but guilty of the offence against
            section 50BC.
          (2) If, on a trial for an offence against section 50BB, the jury is not satisfied that
              the defendant is guilty of the offence, but is satisfied that he or she is guilty of
              an offence against subsection 50BD(1), it may find the defendant not guilty of
              the offence against section 50BB but guilty of the offence against subsection
              50BD(1).

50FC Double jeopardy
        If a person has been convicted or acquitted in a country outside Australia of an
        offence against the law of that country in respect of any conduct, the person
        cannot be convicted of an offence against this Part in respect of that conduct.

50FD Sentencing
           (1) in determining the sentence to be passed, or the order to be made, in
           respect of a person for an offence against Division 2, the court must take into
           account the age and maturity of the person in relation to whom the offence
           was committed, so far as these matters are relevant and known to the court.
          (2) The matters mentioned in subsection (1) are in addition to any other matters
              the court must take into account, for example, the matters mentioned in
              subsection 16A(2).

Division 7—Saving of other laws
50GA Saving of other laws
        This Part is not intended to exclude or limit the operation of any other law of the
        Commonwealth or any law of a State or Territory.

Part 3: Consular services: welfare of Australians
overseas
Chapter 4: Welfare of Australians overseas
Appendix 4A:                Business protocol between the Department of
                            Foreign Affairs and Trade, Interpol and the
                            National Missing Persons Coordination Centre,
                            Australian Federal Police




                                 AUSTRALIANS MISSING OVERSEAS
This document is intended for internal use by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) and
the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Wider dissemination should be jointly approved by the document
owners, or otherwise authorised or compelled, by Commonwealth law.
This protocol clarifies agency responsibilities and boundaries relating to Australians missing overseas.
Each agency has a unique and specific role to play in facilitating and finalising enquiries related to
Australian citizens or permanent Australian residents missing overseas. The overriding consideration
for all agency enquiries is the welfare of an Australian citizen or permanent Australian resident.

Introduction
The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
The Department’s aim is to advance the interests of Australia and Australians internationally. This aim
is the driving force behind its work and underpins all the department's goals, priorities, values and
culture. One of the key goals of the department is to assist Australian travellers and Australians
overseas.
As a general rule DFAT will only pursue those welfare and whereabouts enquiries which are based on
a well-founded concern for the welfare of any Australian citizen or permanent resident overseas.
DFAT will not normally assist with enquiries prompted by a lack of contact or which seek only to
establish the whereabouts of a person.
Interpol
Interpol’s role is to ensure and promote the widest possible communication between all police
authorities within the limits of the laws of the countries, and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. At the request of police agencies and other judicial authorities, Interpol Canberra can
request the issue of Interpol international notices. A Yellow Notice is the appropriate colour-code for
missing persons.

Interpol facilitates cross-border police co-operation and only responds to enquiries received from state
and territory police jurisdictions. Interpol does not receive or action enquiries from the community.
The National Missing Persons Co-ordination Centre (NMPCC)
The NMPCC’s aim is to facilitate a national, integrated approach to the management of the
phenomena of missing persons, to reduce the incidence and impact of missing persons; and to inform
senior law-enforcement, government, and community decision-makers about the issues relating to
missing persons.
The NMPCC’s role in relation to Australians missing overseas is to facilitate dissemination and
distribution of information into the public domain via the NMPCC website
(www.missingpersons.gov.au). This is facilitated and supported by the state and territory police
jurisdictions, and only with the permission of the family of the person listed as missing.
Agency Procedures
DFAT
Step 1 – Recording enquiries
All whereabouts enquiries, including cases DFAT has rejected, are to be logged in the consular
database.
Enquiries received from Australian police jurisdictions are to be brought immediately to the
attention of the Assistant Secretary Consular Operations Branch, and also logged in the consular
database.

Step 2 – Prioritising accepted cases
Once it has been ascertained that an enquiry warrants further action by DFAT, the case will be
allocated one of the following priority categories.
              Category 1 - Please locate and contact - to be used in life and death situations where
              there is a serious concern for the person’s welfare. Such cases would also include
              seeking to locate a person who has had a death in the family. In such cases the
              department expects consular posts to take all reasonable measures including checking
              their registers, contact immigration authorities, checking with police, major hotels, youth
              hostels and hospitals and other likely sources of information to find the missing person,
              including arranging for broadcast messages on radio or television.
              Category 2 - Please check whereabouts - to be used in cases where there is concern
              for a traveller’s welfare. In such cases the department expects consular posts to check
              their registers, contact immigration authorities, check with police, major hotels, youth
              hostels and hospitals and other likely sources of information.
              Category 3 - Please advise if subject comes to notice - to be used in situations such
              as missing deadlines or failing to arrive. It is expected posts will check their registers
              and consular records and check with any contacts given with the enquiry.
              Enquiries from Australian police jurisdictions seeking DFAT assistance must be
              allocated Category 1.
Step 3 – Notification to AFP (Interpol)
Where DFAT receives and accepts a notification of an Australian missing overseas, action is
undertaken by DFAT in the first instance. If the case is not resolved by initial DFAT enquiries and the
case falls into category 1 or 2, or is otherwise considered serious, DFAT will:
seek the consent of the enquirer to pass details of the missing person and the enquirer’s contact
details to the NMPCC which will establish contact with the enquirer and ask them to lodge a missing
persons report with their local police jurisdiction.
seek the consent of the enquirer for any future information obtained from the enquirer about the
missing persons to be shared with AFP (Interpol); and
email the information to the NMPCC at missing@afp.gov.au
Due to unique case circumstances, there is no specific time allocation for resolution. It is decided on a
case by case basis.
Note: AFP Interpol will only respond to formal requests from local state jurisdictions or from other
Interpol Bureaus and therefore enquirers are not to be referred directly to AFP Interpol.
If DFAT takes on a case at the request of an Australian police jurisdiction other than AFP (Interpol),
DFAT will email the information to NMPCC to ensure it is aware of the enquiry.
Step 4 – Coordination between DFAT and AFP (Interpol)
DFAT will continue with its own enquiries on each case and liaise with Interpol at a minimum of once
every three months to ensure both organisations are kept apprised of any developments and to
ensure no overlap of tasking. Privacy Act principles in relation to the sharing of information will need
to be considered on a case-by-case basis with the aim of ensuring any exchange of information
meets each agency’s privacy obligations. Responsibility for deciding on information release lies with
the releasing agency.
AFP Liaison Officers overseas will pursue enquiries if requested by consular officers at post, and if
operational priorities permit. Should an AFP Liaison Officer be requested to pursue enquiries by
Consular officers at Post, the AFP Liaison Officer is to advise the appropriate AFP Overseas Desk of
any action taken. AFP Overseas Desk to forward that information to either the NMPCC or Interpol.
Step 5 – Unresolved Cases
DFAT will ensure that unresolved case files remain open even after all avenues have been exhausted
and enquirers will be advised to pursue further enquiries through family tracing organisations such as
the Red Cross and Salvation Army. DFAT will however continue to review unresolved cases every 3
months.
Step 6 - Finalisation of enquiries
DFAT will advise NMPCC via email at missing@afp.gov.au when a case has been resolved.

NMPCC
Step 1 – Receiving requests
When NMPCC receives a referral email from DFAT, it will contact the enquirer and refer them to local
state police to lodge a missing persons report. (State Police jurisdictions will task Interpol directly in
relation to the case).
NMPCC will forward a copy of the referral email from DFAT to Interpol for their information and advise
that the client has been requested to lodge a formal missing persons report with their local police.
Note that any issues arising from State police refusing to take a missing persons report will be dealt
with by the NMPCC in consultation with the relevant jurisdiction.
Step 2 – Uploading image
An image of the missing person is uploaded onto the NMPCC website with approval of the family. A
signed authority allowing the use of images and information for media use is completed at the time
the formal report is taken by police.
Step 3 – Management of image
An image is received from state and territory jurisdictions and is saved on the NMPCC directory with
accompanying information. An email is forwarded to Web Administration for the uploading of the
image onto the NMPCC website. An email is also sent to the relevant state and territory jurisdiction
advising of the website update.
Step 4 – Removal of image
An image is removed at the request of the state and territory police jurisdiction once a case is
finalised or by written request by the family. The family is telephoned to confirm the veracity of the
request. An email is forwarded to the relevant state or territory jurisdiction advising that the image has
been removed from the website.
Interpol
The role of the state and territory police jurisdictions is to take the missing persons report in the first
instance and in so doing validate the veracity of the report. The report is then sent to Interpol via fax
(02 62757643) or email Interpol.canberra@afp.gov.au).
Step 1 - Receiving enquiries
Interpol receives a missing person’s report from a state or territory police jurisdiction.
Step 2 – Recording enquiries
Interpol registers the report on PROMIS in the normal manner.
Step 3 – Conduct of enquiries
Interpol sends a message to the appropriate Interpol Bureau or in special circumstances, to
appropriate AFP Liaison Officer Posts. Special circumstances would encompass politically sensitive
cases or those cases which would attract media interest eg children.
Step 4 – Finalisation of enquiries
If Interpol is formally advised that a missing person is located, PROMIS cases will be finalised as per
Interpol business protocols. DFAT will be notified via email at centre.conops@dfat.gov.au and this
document is uploaded into PROMIS.
PROMIS cases are to have a status of “Watching Brief” if a matter remains unresolved.
Consultation and Ongoing Follow-up – DFAT and Interpol Quarterly Meetings
On a quarterly, informal basis, DFAT and Interpol will meet to compare case holdings and to ensure
all referrals (emails) from DFAT have been actioned by Interpol.
It is expected that DFAT’s holdings will out-number Interpol holdings due to Category 3 cases not
requiring referral. Following each quarterly meeting, DFAT will review those cases currently not
referred to Interpol to reassess whether Interpol should be involved.
The meetings will also act as a mechanism to resolve any procedural issues arising from
implementation of this joint policy.

Contacts
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
           Project Manager                Tel (02) 6261 3305
           Toll Free Number               1 300 555 135
           Facsimile Number               (02) 6261 3204
Australian Federal Police - National Missing Persons Co-ordination Centre
           Project Manager                Leonie Jacques, Tel (02) 6246 2137
           Freecall Number                1 800 000 634
           Facsimile Number               (02) 6126 7910

Australian Federal Police - Interpol
           Project Manager               Tel (02) 62757575
           Freecall Number               1 800 813 784 (ask for Australians Missing Overseas)
Appendix 6A:             Standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners
Adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment
of Offenders, held at Geneva in 1955, and approved by the Economic and Social Council by
its resolutions 663 C (XXlV) of 31 July 1957 and 2076 (LXII) of 13 May 1977.

Preliminary observations
1. The following rules are not intended to describe in detail a model system of penal
     institutions. They seek only, on the basis of the general consensus of contemporary
     thought and the essential elements of the most adequate systems of today, to set out
     what is generally accepted as being good principle and practice in the treatment of
     prisoners and the management of institutions.
2.   In view of the great variety of legal, social, economic and geographical conditions of the
     world, it is evident that not all of the rules are capable of application in all places and at
     all times. They should, however, serve to stimulate a constant endeavour to overcome
     practical difficulties in the way of their application, in the knowledge that they represent,
     as a whole, the minimum conditions which are accepted as suitable by the United
     Nations.
3.   On the other hand, the rules cover a field in which thought is constantly developing.
     They are not intended to preclude experiment and practices, provided these are in
     harmony with the principles and seek to further the purposes which derive from the text
     of the rules as a whole. It will always be justifiable for the central prison administration to
     authorise departures from the rules in this spirit.
4.   (1) Part I of the rules covers the general management of institutions, and is applicable to
     all categories of prisoners, criminal or civil, untried or convicted, including prisoners
     subject to ‘security measures’ or corrective measures ordered by the judge.
     (2) Part II contains rules applicable only to the special categories dealt with in each
     section. Nevertheless, the rules under section A, applicable to prisoners under
     sentence, shall be equally applicable to categories of prisoners dealt with in sections B,
     C and D, provided they do not conflict with the rules governing those categories and are
     for their benefit.
5.   (1) The rules do not seek to regulate the management of institutions set aside for young
     persons such as Borstal institutions or correctional schools, but in general part I would
     be equally applicable in such institutions.
     (2) The category of young prisoners should include at least all young persons who
     come within the jurisdiction of juvenile courts. As a rule, such young persons should not
     be sentenced to imprisonment.

Part I: RULES OF GENERAL APPLICATION
Basic principle
(1) The following rules shall be applied impartially. There shall be no discrimination on
grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social
origin, property, birth or other status.
     (2) On the other hand, it is necessary to respect the religious beliefs and moral precepts
     of the group to which a prisoner belongs.

    Register
(1) In every place where persons are imprisoned there shall be kept a bound registration
book with numbered pages in which shall be entered in respect of each prisoner received:
                Information concerning his identity;
                The reasons for his commitment and the authority therefore;
                The day and hour of his admission and release.
    (2) No person shall be received in an institution without a valid commitment order of
    which the details shall have been previously entered in the register.

Separation of categories
The different categories of prisoners shall be kept in separate institutions or parts of
institutions taking account of their sex, age, criminal record, the legal reason for their
detention and the necessities of their treatment. Thus,
                Men and women shall so far as possible be detained in separate institutions;
                in an institution which receives both men and women the whole of the
                premises allocated to women shall be entirely separate;
                Untried prisoners shall be kept separate from convicted prisoners;
                Persons imprisoned for debt and other civil prisoners shall be kept separate
                from persons imprisoned by reason of a criminal offence;
                Young prisoners shall be kept separate from adults.

Accommodation
(1) Where sleeping accommodation is in individual cells or rooms, each prisoner shall
occupy by night a cell or room by himself. If for special reasons, such as temporary
overcrowding, it becomes necessary for the central prison administration to make an
exception to this rule, it is not desirable to have two prisoners in a cell or room.
(2) Where dormitories are used, they shall be occupied by prisoners carefully selected as
being suitable to associate with one another in those conditions. There shall be regular
supervision by night, in keeping with the nature of the institution.
All accommodation provided for the use of prisoners and in particular all sleeping
accommodation shall meet all requirements of health, due regard being paid to climatic
conditions and particularly to cubic content of air, minimum floor space, lighting, heating and
ventilation.
In all places where prisoners are required to live or work,
                The windows shall be large enough to enable the prisoners to read or work
                by natural light, and shall be so constructed that they can allow the entrance
                of fresh air whether or not there is artificial ventilation;
                Artificial light shall be provided sufficient for the prisoners to read or work
                without injury to eyesight.
The sanitary installations shall be adequate to enable every prisoner to comply with the
needs of nature when necessary and in a clean and decent manner.
Adequate bathing and shower installations shall be provided so that every prisoner may be
enabled and required to have a bath or shower, at a temperature suitable to the climate, as
frequently as necessary for general hygiene according to season and geographical region,
but at least once a week in a temperate climate.
All parts of an institution regularly used by prisoners shall be properly maintained and kept
scrupulously clean at all times.

Personal hygiene
Prisoners shall be required to keep their persons clean, and to this end they shall be
provided with water and with such toilet articles as are necessary for health and cleanliness.
In order that prisoners may maintain a good appearance compatible with their self-respect,
facilities shall be provided for the proper care of the hair and beard, and men shall be
enabled to shave regularly.

Clothing and bedding
(1) Every prisoner who is not allowed to wear his own clothing shall be provided with an
outfit of clothing suitable for the climate and adequate to keep him in good health. Such
clothing shall in no manner be degrading or humiliating.
(2) All clothing shall be clean and kept in proper condition. Underclothing shall be changed
and washed as often as necessary for the maintenance of hygiene.
(3) In exceptional circumstances, whenever a prisoner is removed outside the institution for
an authorised purpose, he shall be allowed to wear his own clothing or other inconspicuous
clothing.
If prisoners are allowed to wear their own clothing, arrangements shall be made on their
admission to the institution to ensure that it shall be clean and fit for use.
Every prisoner shall, in accordance with local or national standards, be provided with a
separate bed, and with separate and sufficient bedding which shall be clean when issued,
kept in good order and changed often enough to ensure its cleanliness.

Food
(1) Every prisoner shall be provided by the administration at the usual hours with food of
nutritional value adequate for health and strength, of wholesome quality and well prepared
and served.
(2) Drinking water shall be available to every prisoner whenever he needs it.

Exercise and sport
(1) Every prisoner who is not employed in outdoor work shall have at least one hour of
suitable exercise in the open air daily if the weather permits.
(2) Young prisoners, and others of suitable age and physique, shall receive physical and
recreational training during the period of exercise. to this end space, installations and
equipment should be provided.

Medical services
(1) At every institution there shall be available the services of at least one qualified medical
officer who should have some knowledge of psychiatry. The medical services should be
organised in close relationship to the general health administration of the community or
nation. They shall include a psychiatric service for the diagnosis and, in proper cases, the
treatment of states of mental abnormality.
(2) Sick prisoners who require specialist treatment shall be transferred to specialised
institutions or to civil hospitals. Where hospital facilities are provided in an institution, their
equipment, furnishings and pharmaceutical supplies shall be proper for the medical care and
treatment of sick prisoners, and there shall be a staff of suitable trained officers.
(3) The services of a qualified dental officer shall be available to every prisoner.
(1) In women’s institutions there shall be special accommodation for all necessary pre-natal
and post-natal care and treatment. Arrangements shall be made wherever practicable for
children to be born in a hospital outside the institution. If a child is born in prison, this fact
shall not be mentioned in the birth certificate.
     (2) Where nursing infants are allowed to remain in the institution with their mothers,
     provision shall be made for a nursery staffed by qualified persons, where the infants
     shall be placed when they are not in the care of their mothers.
The medical officer shall see and examine every prisoner as soon as possible after his
admission and thereafter as necessary, with a view particularly to the discovery of physical
or mental illness and the taking of all necessary measures; the segregation of prisoners
suspected of infectious or contagious conditions; the noting of physical or mental defects
which might hamper rehabilitation, and the determination of the physical capacity of every
prisoner for work.
(1) The medical officer shall have the care of the physical and mental health of the prisoners
and should daily see all sick prisoners, all who complain of illness, and any prisoner to whom
his attention is specially directed.
    (2) The medical officer shall report to the director whenever he considers that a
    prisoner’s physical or mental health has been or will be injuriously affected by continued
    imprisonment or by any condition of imprisonment.
(1) The medical officer shall regularly inspect and advise the director upon:
              The quantity, quality, preparation and service of food;
              The hygiene and cleanliness of the institution and the prisoners;
              The sanitation, heating, lighting and ventilation of the institution;
              The suitability and cleanliness of the prisoners’ clothing and bedding;
              The observance of the rules concerning physical education and sports, in
              cases where there is no technical personnel in charge of these activities.
    (2) The director shall take into consideration the reports and advice that the medical
    officer submits according to rules 25 (2) and 26 and, in case he concurs with the
    recommendations made, shall take immediate steps to give effect to those
    recommendations; if they are not within his competence or if he does not concur with
    them, he shall immediately submit his own report and the advice of the medical officer
    to higher authority.
Discipline and punishment
Discipline and order shall be maintained with firmness, but with no more restriction than is
necessary for safe custody and well-ordered community life.
(1) No prisoner shall be employed, in the service of the institution, in any disciplinary
capacity.
    (2) This rule shall not, however, impede the proper functioning of systems based on
    self-government, under which specified social, educational or sports activities or
    responsibilities are entrusted, under supervision, to prisoners who are formed into
    groups for the purposes of treatment.
The following shall always be determined by the law or by the regulation of the competent
administrative authority:
                Conduct constituting a disciplinary offence;
                The types and duration of punishment which may be inflicted
                The authority competent to impose such punishment.
(1) No prisoner shall be punished except in accordance with the terms of such law or
regulation, and never twice for the same offence.
    (2) No prisoner shall be punished unless he has been informed of the offence alleged
    against him and given a proper opportunity of presenting his defence. The competent
    authority shall conduct a thorough examination of the case.
    (3) Where necessary and practicable the prisoner shall be allowed to make his defence
    through an interpreter.
Corporal punishment, punishment by placing in a dark cell, and all cruel, inhuman or
degrading punishments shall be completely prohibited as punishments for disciplinary
offences.
(1) Punishment by close confinement or reduction of diet shall never be inflicted unless the
medical officer has examined the prisoner and certified in writing that he is fit to sustain it.
    (2) The same shall apply to any other punishment that may be prejudicial to the physical
    or mental health of a prisoner. in no case may such punishment be contrary to or depart
    from the principle stated in rule 31.
    (3) The medical officer shall visit daily prisoners undergoing such punishments and shall
    advise the director if he considers the termination or alteration of the punishment
    necessary on grounds of physical or mental health.

Instruments of restraint
Instruments of restraint, such as handcuffs, chains, irons and straitjackets, shall never be
applied as a punishment. Furthermore, chains or irons shall not be used as restraints. Other
instruments of restraint shall not be used except in the following circumstances:
                As a precaution against escape during a transfer, provided that they shall be
                removed when the prisoner appears before a judicial or administrative
                authority;
                On medical grounds by direction of the medical officer;
                By order of the director, if other methods of control fail, in order to prevent a
                prisoner from injuring himself or others or from damaging property; in such
                instances the director shall at once consult the medical officer and report to
                the higher administrative authority.
The patterns and manner of use of instruments of restraint shall be decided by the central
prison administration. Such instruments must not be applied for any longer time than is
strictly necessary.

Information to and complaints by prisoners
(1) Every prisoner on admission shall be provided with written information about the
regulations governing the treatment of prisoners of his category, the disciplinary
requirements of the institution, the authorised methods of seeking information and making
complaints, and all such other matters as are necessary to enable him to understand both
his rights and his obligations and to adapt himself to the life of the institution.
    (2) If a prisoner is illiterate, the aforesaid information shall be conveyed to him orally.
(1) Every prisoner shall have the opportunity each week day of making requests or
complaints to the director of the institution or the officer authorised to represent him.
    (2) It shall be possible to make requests or complaints to the inspector of prisons during
    his inspection. The prisoner shall have the opportunity to talk to the inspector or to any
    other inspecting officer without the director or other members of the staff being present.
    (3) Every prisoner shall be allowed to make a request or complaint without censorship
    as to substance but in proper form, to the central prison administration, the judicial
    authority or other proper authorities through approved channels.
    (4) Unless it is evidently frivolous or groundless, every request or complaint shall be
    promptly dealt with and replied to without undue delay.

Contact with the outside world
Prisoners shall be allowed under necessary supervision to communicate with their family
and reputable friends at regular intervals, both by correspondence and by receiving visits.
(1) Prisoners who are foreign nationals shall be allowed reasonable facilities to communicate
with the diplomatic and consular representatives of the state to which they belong.
    (2) Prisoners who are nationals of states without diplomatic or consular representation
    in the country and refugees or stateless persons shall be allowed similar facilities to
    communicate with the diplomatic representative of the state which takes charge of their
    interests or any national or international authority whose task it is to protect such
    persons.
Prisoners shall be kept informed regularly of the more important items of news by the
reading of newspapers, periodicals or special institutional publications, by hearing wireless
transmissions, by lectures or by any similar means as authorised or controlled by the
administration.

Books
Every institution shall have a library for the use of all categories of prisoners, adequately
stocked with both recreational and instructional books, and prisoners shall be encouraged to
make full use of it.

Religion
(1) If the institution contains a sufficient number of prisoners of the same religion, a qualified
representative of that religion shall be appointed or approved. If the number of prisoners
justifies it and conditions permit, the arrangement should be on a full-time basis.
    (2) A qualified representative appointed or approved under paragraph (1) shall be
    allowed to hold regular services and to pay pastoral visits in private to prisoners of his
    religion at proper times.
    (3) Access to a qualified representative of any religion shall not be refused to any
    prisoner. On the other hand, if any prisoner should object to a visit of any religious
    representative, his attitude shall be fully respected.
So far as practicable, every prisoner shall be allowed to satisfy the needs of his religious life
by attending the services provided in the institution and having in his possession the books
of religious observance and instruction of his denomination.

Retention of prisoners’ property
(1) All money, valuables, clothing and other effects belonging to a prisoner which under the
regulations of the institution he is not allowed to retain shall on his admission to the
institution be placed in safe custody. An inventory thereof shall be signed by the prisoner.
Steps shall be taken to keep them in good condition.
    (2) On the release of the prisoner all such articles and money shall be returned to him
    except in so far as he has been authorised to spend money or send any such property
    out of the institution, or it has been found necessary on hygienic grounds to destroy any
    article of clothing. The prisoner shall sign a receipt for the articles and money returned
    to him.
    (3) Any money or effects received for a prisoner from outside shall be treated in the
    same way.
    (4) If a prisoner brings in any drugs or medicine, the medical officer shall decide what
    use shall be made of them.

Notification of death, illness, transfer, etc.
(1) Upon the death or serious illness of, or serious injury to a prisoner, or his removal to an
institution for the treatment of mental affections, the director shall at once inform the spouse,
if the prisoner is married, or the nearest relative and shall in any event inform any other
person previously designated by the prisoner.
    (2) A prisoner shall be informed at once of the death or serious illness of any near
    relative. in case of the critical illness of a near relative, the prisoner should be
    authorised, whenever circumstances allow, to go to his bedside either under escort or
    alone.
    (3) Every prisoner shall have the right to inform at once his family of his imprisonment or
    his transfer to another institution.

Removal of prisoners
(1) When the prisoners are being removed to or from an institution, they shall be exposed to
public view as little as possible, and proper safeguards shall be adopted to protect them from
insult, curiosity and publicity in any form.
    (2) The transport of prisoners in conveyances with inadequate ventilation or light, or in
    any way which would subject them to unnecessary physical hardship, shall be
    prohibited.
    (3) The transport of prisoners shall be carried out at the expense of the administration
    and equal conditions shall obtain for all of them.

    Institutional personnel
(1) The prison administration, shall provide for the careful selection of every grade of the
personnel, since it is on their integrity, humanity, professional capacity and personal
suitability for the work that the proper administration of the institutions depends.
    (2) The prison administration shall constantly seek to awaken and maintain in the minds
    both of the personnel and of the public the conviction that this work is a social service of
    great importance, and to this end all appropriate means of informing the public should
    be used.
    (3) to secure the foregoing ends, personnel shall be appointed on a full-time basis as
    professional prison officers and have civil service status with security of tenure subject
    only to good conduct, efficiency and physical fitness. Salaries shall be adequate to
    attract and retain suitable men and women; employment benefits and conditions of
    service shall be favourable in view of the exacting nature of the work.
(1) The personnel shall possess an adequate standard of education and intelligence.
    (2) Before entering on duty, the personnel shall be given a course of training in their
    general and specific duties and be required to pass theoretical and practical tests.
    (3) After entering on duty and during their career, the personnel shall maintain and
    improve their knowledge and professional capacity by attending courses of in-service
    training to be organised at suitable intervals.
All members of the personnel shall at all times so conduct themselves and perform their
duties as to influence the prisoners for good by their example and to command their respect.
(1) So far as possible, the personnel shall include a sufficient number of specialists such as
psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, teachers and trade instructors.
    (2) The services of social workers, teachers and trade instructors shall be secured on a
    permanent basis, without thereby excluding part-time or voluntary workers.
(1) The director of an institution should be adequately qualified for his task by character,
administrative ability, suitable training and experience.
    (2) He shall devote his entire time to his official duties and shall not be appointed on a
    part-time basis.
    (3) He shall reside on the premises of the institution or in its immediate vicinity.
    (4) When two or more institutions are under the authority of one director, he shall visit
    each of them at frequent intervals. A responsible resident official shall be in charge of
    each of these institutions.
(1) The director, his deputy, and the majority of the other personnel of the institution shall be
able to speak the language of the greatest number of prisoners, or a language understood
by the greatest number of them.
    (2) Whenever necessary, the services of an interpreter shall be used.
(1) In institutions which are large enough to require the services of one or more full-time
medical officers, at least one of them shall reside on the premises of the institution or in its
immediate vicinity.
    (2) In other institutions the medical officer shall visit daily and shall reside near enough
    to be able to attend without delay in cases of urgency.
(1) In an institution for both men and women, the part of the institution set aside for women
shall be under the authority of a responsible woman officer who shall have the custody of the
keys of all that part of the institution.
    (2) No male member of the staff shall enter the part of the institution set aside for
    women unless accompanied by a woman officer.
    (3) Women prisoners shall be attended and supervised only by women officers. This
    does not, however, preclude male members of the staff particularly doctors and
    teachers, from carrying out their professional duties in institutions or parts of institutions
    set aside for women.
(1) Officers of the institutions shall not, in their relations with the prisoners, use force except
in self-defence or in cases of attempted escape, or active or passive physical resistance to
an order based on law or regulations. Officers who have recourse to force must use no more
than is strictly necessary and must report the incident immediately to the director of the
institution.
    (2) Prison officers shall be given special physical training to enable them to restrain
    aggressive prisoners.
    (3) Except in special circumstances, staff performing duties which bring them into direct
    contact with prisoners should not be armed. Furthermore, staff should in no
    circumstances be provided with arms unless they have been trained in their use.

Inspection
There shall be a regular inspection of penal institutions and services by qualified and
experienced inspectors appointed by a competent authority. Their task shall be in particular
to ensure that these institutions are administered in accordance with existing laws and
regulations and with a view to bringing about the objectives of penal and correctional
services.

PART II: RULES APPLICABLE TO SPECIAL CATEGORIES

A. PRISONERS UNDER SENTENCE
Guiding principles
The guiding principles hereafter are intended to show the spirit in which penal institutions
should be administered and the purposes at which they should aim, in accordance with the
declaration made under Preliminary Observation I of the present text.
Imprisonment and other measures which result in cutting off an offender from the outside
world are afflictive by the very fact of taking from the person the right of self-determination by
depriving him of his liberty. Therefore the prison system shall not, except as incidental to
justifiable segregation or the maintenance of discipline, aggravate the suffering inherent in
such a situation.
The purpose and justification of a sentence of imprisonment or a similar measure deprivative
of liberty is ultimately to protect society against crime. This end can only be achieved if the
period of imprisonment is used to ensure, so far as possible, that upon his return to society
the offender is not only willing but able to lead a law-abiding and self-supporting life.
To this end, the institution should utilize all the remedial, educational, moral, spiritual and
other forces and forms of assistance which are appropriate and available, and should seek
to apply them according to the individual treatment needs of the prisoners.
(1) The regime of the institution should seek to minimise any differences between prison life
and life at liberty which tend to lessen the responsibility of the prisoners or the respect due to
their dignity as human beings.
     (2) Before the completion of the sentence, it is desirable that the necessary steps be
     taken to ensure for the prisoner a gradual return to life in society. This aim may be
     achieved, depending on the case, by a pre-release regime organised in the same
     institution or in another appropriate institution, or by release on trial under some kind of
     supervision which must not be entrusted to the police but should be combined with
     effective social aid.
The treatment of prisoners should emphasise not their exclusion from the community, but
their continuing part in it. Community agencies should, therefore, be enlisted wherever
possible to assist the staff of the institution in the task of social rehabilitation of the prisoners.
There should be in connection with every institution social workers charged with the duty of
maintaining and improving all desirable relations of a prisoner with his family and with
valuable social agencies. Steps should be taken to safeguard, to the maximum extent
compatible with the law and the sentence, the rights relating to civil interests, social security
rights and other social benefits of prisoners.
The medical services of the institution shall seek to detect and shall treat any physical or
mental illnesses or defects which may hamper a prisoner’s rehabilitation. All necessary
medical, surgical and psychiatric services shall be provided to that end.
(1) The fulfilment of these principles requires individualisation of treatment and for this
purpose a flexible system of classifying prisoners in groups; it is therefore desirable that
such groups should be distributed in separate institutions suitable for the treatment of each
group.
     (2) These institutions need not provide the same degree of security for every group. It is
     desirable to provide varying degrees of security according to the needs of different
     groups. Open institutions, by the very fact that they provide no physical security against
     escape but rely on the self-discipline of the inmates, provide the conditions most
     favourable to rehabilitation for carefully selected prisoners.
     (3) It is desirable that the number of prisoners in closed institutions should not be so
     large that the individualisation of treatment is hindered. in some countries it is
     considered that the population of such institutions should not exceed five hundred. in
     open institutions the population should be as small as possible.
     (4) On the other hand, it is undesirable to maintain prisons which are so small that
     proper facilities cannot be provided.
The duty of society does not end with a prisoner’s release. There should, therefore, be
governmental or private agencies capable of lending the released prisoner efficient after-
care directed towards the lessening of prejudice against him and towards his social
rehabilitation.

Treatment
The treatment of persons sentenced to imprisonment or a similar measure shall have as its
purpose, so far as the length of the sentence permits, to establish in them the will to lead
law-abiding and self-supporting lives after their release and to fit them to do so. The
treatment shall be such as will encourage their self-respect and develop their sense of
responsibility.
(1) To these ends, all appropriate means shall be used, including religious care in the
countries where this is possible, education, vocational guidance and training, social
casework, employment counselling, physical development and strengthening of moral
character, in accordance with the individual needs of each prisoner, taking account of his
social and criminal history, his physical and mental capacities and aptitudes, his personal
temperament, the length of his sentence and his prospects after release.
    (2) For every prisoner with a sentence of suitable length, the director shall receive, as
    soon as possible after his admission, full reports on all the matters referred to in the
    foregoing paragraph. Such reports shall always include a report by a medical officer,
    wherever possible qualified in psychiatry, on the physical and mental condition of the
    prisoner.
    (3) The reports and other relevant documents shall be placed in an individual file. This
    file shall be kept up-to-date and classified in such a way that it can be consulted by the
    responsible personnel whenever the need arises.

Classification and individualisation
The purposes of classification shall be:
                to separate from others those prisoners who, by reason of their criminal
                records or bad characters, are likely to exercise a bad influence;
                to divide the prisoners into classes in order to facilitate their treatment with a
                view to their social rehabilitation.
So far as possible separate institutions or separate sections of an institution shall be used for
the treatment of the different classes of prisoners.
As soon as possible after admission and after a study of the personality of each prisoner
with a sentence of suitable length, a programme of treatment shall be prepared for him in the
light of the knowledge obtained about his individual needs, his capacities and dispositions.

Privileges
Systems of privileges appropriate for the different classes of prisoners and the different
methods of treatment shall be established at every institution, in order to encourage good
conduct, develop a sense of responsibility and secure the interest and cooperation of the
prisoners in their treatment.

Work
(1) Prison labour must not be of an afflictive nature.
    (2) All prisoners under sentence shall be required to work, subject to their physical and
    mental fitness as determined by the medical officer.
    (3) Sufficient work of a useful nature shall be provided to keep prisoners actively
    employed for a normal working day.
    (4) So far as possible the work provided shall be such as will maintain or increase the
    prisoners’ ability to earn an honest living after release.
    (5) Vocational training in useful trades shall be provided for prisoners able to profit
    thereby and especially for young prisoners.
     (6) Within the limits compatible with proper vocational selection and with the
     requirements of institutional administration and discipline, the prisoners shall be able to
     choose the type of work they wish to perform.
(1) The organisation and methods of work in the institutions shall resemble as closely as
possible those of similar work outside institutions, so as to prepare prisoners for the
conditions of normal occupational life.
     (2) The interests of the prisoners and of their vocational training, however, must not be
     subordinated to the purpose of making a financial profit from an industry in the
     institution.
(1) Preferably institutional industries and farms should be operated directly by the
administration and not by private contractors.
     (2) Where prisoners are employed in work not controlled by the administration, they
     shall always be under the supervision of the institution’s personnel. Unless the work is
     for other departments of the government the full normal wages for such work shall be
     paid to the administration by the persons to whom the labour is supplied, account being
     taken of the output of the prisoners.
(1) The precautions laid down to protect the safety and health of free workmen shall be
equally observed in institutions.
     (2) Provision shall be made to indemnify prisoners against industrial injury, including
     occupational disease, on terms not less favourable than those extended by law to free
     workmen.
(1) The maximum daily and weekly working hours of the prisoners shall be fixed by law or by
administrative regulation, taking into account local rules or custom in regard to the
employment of free workmen.
     (2) The hours so fixed shall leave one rest day a week and sufficient time for education
     and other activities required as part of the treatment and rehabilitation of the prisoners.
(1) There shall be a system of equitable remuneration of the work of prisoners.
     (2) Under the system prisoners shall be allowed to spend at least a part of their
     earnings on approved articles for their own use and to send a part of their earnings to
     their family.
     (3) The system should also provide that a part of the earnings should be set aside by
     the administration so as to constitute a savings fund to be handed over to the prisoner
     on his release.

Education and recreation
(1) Provision shall be made for the further education of all prisoners capable of profiting
thereby, including religious instruction in the countries where this is possible. The education
of illiterates and young prisoners shall be compulsory and special attention shall be paid to it
by the administration.
     (2) So far as practicable, the education of prisoners shall be integrated with the
     educational system of the country so that after their release they may continue their
     education without difficulty.
Recreational and cultural activities shall be provided in all institutions for the benefit of the
mental and physical health of prisoners.

Social relations and after-care
Special attention shall be paid to the maintenance and improvement of such relations
between a prisoner and his family as are desirable in the best interests of both.
From the beginning of a prisoner’s sentence consideration shall be given to his future after
release and he shall be encouraged and assisted to maintain or establish such relations with
persons or agencies outside the institution as may promote the best interests of his family
and his own social rehabilitation.
(1) Services and agencies, governmental or otherwise, which assist released prisoners to re-
establish themselves in society shall ensure, so far as is possible and necessary, that
released prisoners be provided with appropriate documents and identification papers, have
suitable homes and work to go to, are suitably and adequately clothed having regard to the
climate and season, and have sufficient means to reach their destination and maintain
themselves in the period immediately following their release.
    (2) The approved representatives of such agencies shall have all necessary access to
    the institution and to prisoners and shall be taken into consultation as to the future of a
    prisoner from the beginning of his sentence.
    (3) It is desirable that the activities of such agencies shall be centralised or coordinated
    as far as possible in order to secure the best use of their efforts.

B. INSANE AND MENTALLY ABNORMAL PRISONERS
(1) Persons who are found to be insane shall not be detained in prisons and arrangements
shall be made to remove them to mental institutions as soon as possible.
    (2) Prisoners who suffer from other mental diseases or abnormalities shall be observed
    and treated in specialised institutions under medical management.
    (3) During their stay in a prison, such prisoners shall be placed under the special
    supervision of a medical officer.
    (4) The medical or psychiatric service of the penal institutions shall provide for the
    psychiatric treatment of all other prisoners who are in need of such treatment.
It is desirable that steps should be taken, by arrangement with the appropriate agencies, to
ensure if necessary the continuation of psychiatric treatment after release and the provision
of social-psychiatric after-care.

C. PRISONERS UNDER ARREST OR AWAITING TRIAL
(1) Persons arrested or imprisoned by reason of a criminal charge against them, who are
detained either in police custody or in prison custody (jail) but have not yet been tried and
sentenced, will be referred to as 'untried prisoners' hereinafter in these rules.
    (2) Unconvicted prisoners are presumed to be innocent and shall be treated as such.
    (3) Without prejudice to legal rules for the protection of individual liberty or prescribing
    the procedure to be observed in respect of untried prisoners, these prisoners shall
    benefit by a special regime which is described in the following rules in its essential
    requirements only.
(1) Untried prisoners shall be kept separate from convicted prisoners.
    (2) Young untried prisoners shall be kept separate from adults and shall in principle be
    detained in separate institutions.
Untried prisoners shall sleep singly in separate rooms, with the reservation of different local
custom in respect of the climate.
Within the limits compatible with the good order of the institution, untried prisoners may, if
they so desire, have their food procured at their own expense from the outside, either
through the administration or through their family or friends. Otherwise, the administration
shall provide their food.
(1) An untried prisoner shall be allowed to wear his own clothing if it is clean and suitable.
    (2) If he wears prison dress, it shall be different from that supplied to convicted
    prisoners.
An untried prisoner shall always be offered opportunity to work, but shall not be required to
work. If he chooses to work, he shall be paid for it.
An untried prisoner shall be allowed to procure at his own expense or at the expense of a
third party such books, newspapers, writing materials and other means of occupation as are
compatible with the interests of the administration of justice and the security and good order
of the institution.
An untried prisoner shall be allowed to be visited and treated by his own doctor or dentist if
there is reasonable ground for his application and he is able to pay any expenses incurred.
An untried prisoner shall be allowed to inform immediately his family of his detention and
shall be given all reasonable facilities for communicating with his family and friends, and for
receiving visits from them, subject only to restrictions and supervision as are necessary in
the interests of the administration of justice and of the security and good order of the
institution.
for the purposes of his defence, an untried prisoner shall be allowed to apply for free legal
aid where such aid is available, and to receive visits from his legal adviser with a view to his
defence and to prepare and hand to him confidential instructions. for these purposes, he
shall if he so desires be supplied with writing material. Interviews between the prisoner and
his legal adviser may be within sight but not within the hearing of a police or institution
official.

D. CIVIL PRISONERS
In countries where the law permits imprisonment for debt, or by order of a court under any
othernon-criminal process, persons so imprisoned shall not be subjected to any greater
restriction or severity than is necessary to ensure safe custody and good order. Their
treatment shall be not less favourable than that of untried prisoners, with the reservation,
however, that they may possibly be required to work.

E. PERSONS ARRESTED OR DETAINED WITHOUT CHARGE
Without prejudice to the provisions of article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, persons arrested or imprisoned without charge shall be accorded the same
protection as that accorded under part I and part II, section C. Relevant provisions of part II,
section A, shall likewise be applicable where their application may be conducive to the
benefit of this special group of persons in custody, provided that no measures shall be taken
implying that re-education or rehabilitation is in any way appropriate to persons not convicted
of any criminal offence.
Part 4:        Emergency loans and administration
Chapter 20:              Consular emergency services facility
Appendix 20A:            Minute to delegate for approval of expenditure

Minute to Delegate for Approval of Expenditure on:
medical assistance/repatriation;

repatriation of minor;

funeral expense

in accordance with conditions set out in Chapter 58: Financial policy: unidentified receipts
and repayment of former year administered appropriation.
                           Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

                                             Minute
                                                                     File no:
                                                                        Date:

TO.               [Name, Assistant Secretary CNB

CC.

Through.

FM.               [case officer]

        CONSULAR EMERGENCY SERVICES: [SURNAME, FIRST NAME]: POST:

Purpose
to seek your approval for expenditure of AUD ….. equivalent of [local currency amount at
‘spot rate’] to medically assist/repatriate [client name] from [country] to Australia or to provide
a pauper’s funeral for [client name].

Background
[Provide background to case setting out why the client requires assistance and efforts taken
by client/post/Conops to exhaust alternative means of financial assistance, e.g.
NOMINATED CONTACT/friends/relatives, insurer, banks, Centrelink/DVA if applicable.
Explain why assistance cannot be provided as a loan. Attach written advice from treating
doctor (CH Ch 40.3.1(a))]

Recommendation
[Make recommendation for/against approval, noting whether or not client meets guidelines. If
client does not meet guidelines, but the case manager believes there are extenuating
circumstances (e.g. serious resource burden on post or, in the case of repatriation, that the
client’s delayed departure will result in considerable additional expenditure) these should be
explained.]

[signature]                                             APPROVED/NOT APPROVED

[Case Manager Name]                                     [Designation]
[signature]
                                                        [Assistant Secretary Name]
                                                        [Assistant Secretary CNB]


Part 4: Legal advice, legal processes and notarial
services
Chapter 21:            State and territory law societies

Appendix 21A:                  State and territory law societies of Australia
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Law Society of the Australian Capital Territory
GPO Box 1652
(Level 3, 11 London Circuit)
CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601
Tel: 61 2 6247 5700
Fax: 61 2 6247 3754
Internet: http://www.lawsocact.asn.au
New South Wales
Law Society of NSW
170 Phillip Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000
Tel: 61 2 9926 0333
Fax: 61 2 9231 5809
Internet: http://www.lawsociety.com.au
Northern Territory
Law Society of the Northern Territory
P.O. Box 2388
(Suite G16, 1st Floor, Paspalis Centrepoint Mall, 48 Smith St)
DARWIN NT 0801
Tel: 61 8 8981 5104
Fax: 61 8 8941 1623
Internet: www.lawsocietynt.asn.au
Queensland
Queensland Law Society Incorporated
GPO Box 1785 (179 Ann Street)
BRISBANE QLD 4001
Tel: 61 7 3842 5842
Fax: 61 7 3842 5999
Internet: www.qls.com.au
South Australia
Law Society of South Australia Incorporated
GPO Box 2066 (124 Waymouth Street)
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Tel: 61 8 8229 0200
Fax: 61 8 8231 1929
Internet: http://www.lawsocietysa.asn.au
Victoria
Law Institute of Victoria
GPO Box 263C (470 Bourke Street)
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
Tel: 61 3 9607 9311
Fax: 61 3 9602 5270
Internet: http://www.liv.asn.au
Tasmania
Law Society of Tasmania 2600
PO Box 1133 (28 Murray Street)
HOBART TAS 7001
Tel: 61 3 6234 4133
Fax: 61 3 6223 8240
Internet: http://www.taslawsociety.asn.au
Western Australia
Law Society of Western Australia
PO Box Z 5345
PERTH WA 6831
(Level 4, St Georges Terrace
Perth. 6000)
Tel: 61 8 9322 7877
Fax: 61 8 9322 7899
Internet: http://www.lawsocietywa.asn.au

Chapter 22            Legal processes

Appendix 22A:                 Legal definitions
Affidavit: a written statement which is accompanied by the deponent swearing an oath or
making an affirmation indicating that the contents of the statement are true.
Apostille: a statement placed on a public document pursuant to the 1969 Hague
Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation of Foreign Public Documents
verifying the country of origin of the document, the identity of the signature and seals which
appear on the document, and the capacity in which the person signing the document has
acted.
Authentication: the process of verifying the signature and/or seal which may appear on a
document and making a statement on the document to that effect (sometimes also referred
to as ‘legalisation’). When a document is authenticated by a series of authorities, the process
is referred to as a Chain of Authentication.
Jurat: the clause appearing at the end of an affidavit showing the date, location and name of
the person before whom the affidavit was sworn or affirmed.
Oath or affirmation: a confirmation of the truth of a statement which, if made by a person
who knows it is false, may subject them to prosecution.
Certification: Confirmation of correctness or authenticity.
Commonwealth: Refers to documents issued by the Commonwealth of Australia.
Declaration: a statement, the truth of which is declared, but not by oath or affirmation.
Deponent: a witness who gives information under oath concerning facts known to them, in a
statement to be used in court.
Deposition: a sworn statement of facts to be used in court.
Execute (a document): to bring a legal document into its final legally enforceable form.
Exhibit: an attachment to an affidavit, declaration or other legal document.
Instrument: A written document which records an act or agreement.
Legalisation: another term for “authentication”.
Notary Public: A person appointed for life by a State or Territory Supreme Court and given
statutory powers to witness documents, administer oaths, take depositions and perform
other administrative functions. The seal of a notary public authenticates a document.
Notaries’ seals and signatures are officially recorded in DFAT’s Signatures and Seals
database.
Public document: A document issued by a Government Authority e.g. birth certificate.
Seal: An inked stamp, or an impression on wax, a wafer or impression in the paper itself,
made by an embossing tool. An inked stamp is also called a “wet” seal, while an impression
on a wafer or paper made with an embossing tool is a “dry” seal. A seal which identifies the
relevant authority issuing or servicing a document is called the “common seal”.
States or territories: Refers to documents issued by the States and Territories of Australia.
Verification: Confirmation of correctness, truth or authenticity.
Witness (verb): to verify the authenticity of a signature or document by signing one’s name
to it.

				
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