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Equity, Prosperity and Dispute Resolution Across Borders
Whilst their rights at trial are the same since the abolition of juries de mediate linguae, aliens arrested or detained in Australia have rights which differ from subjects of the Queen of Australia or Australian citizens.
Whilst Greg Finlayson does not profess specialist expertise in criminal matters generally, he is available to give immediate legal advice to aliens who are detained, and in particular to assist them to be granted their rights under the Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Persuant to the convention, aliens are free to communicate with the consular officials of their state and to have access to them.
The competent Australian authorities shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the foreign State if, within its consular district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. Any communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention shall also be forwarded by the said authorities without delay. The said authorities shall inform the person concerned without delay of his rights under the article.
Consular officers have the right to visit a national of the foreign State who is in prison, custody or detention, to converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation. They also have the right to visit any national of the foreign State who is in prison, custody or detention in their district in pursuance of a judgment.
In a pending criminal matter such rights may be of importance and require enforcement. In evaluating evidence, including that of a confession, regard may be had to whether the evidence was obtained in breach of any obligation by the Australian authorities to give effect to the convention, perhaps giving rise to an exclusion of evidence on public policy grounds.