Skip navigation

Genocide submissions

Criminal Code Amendment (Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes) Bill 2024



Australia signed the Genocide Convention in 1948 but has done little since to fulfil its duty to prevent and punish the worst crime of humanity. 

Australia delayed enacting the Convention into domestic law until 2002 when it was forced to, but included significant limitations. This means that no cases of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity or War Crimes can be pursued in a court in this country without the written consent of the Attorney General – and the Attorney General’s decision cannot be legally challenged. 

This veto power goes against the very intention of the Genocide Convention. 

No politician should get to say who can and can't be held accountable in our legal system, particularly when it comes to the most heinous crimes.


The Bill

On 7 February 2024, Senator Lidia Thorpe introduced the Criminal Code Amendment (Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes) Bill 2024 to the Senate. The Bill will: 

  • Remove the requirement for the Attorney General to consent to atrocity crime cases. This means anyone can file for proceedings on these crimes in a court, without the Attorney General being able to interfere.
  • Allow previous decisions by Attorney Generals to give or refuse consent to be reviewed.


The Inquiry

The Bill is now going through a Senate Inquiry with the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

This is an opportunity to start a discussion on Genocide, for Truth-telling, and for and exploring avenues to improve justice and prevent Genocide and other atrocity crimes from ever happening again. The inquiry can cover things like:

  • Australia’s abhorrent history in pursuing Genocide and other atrocity crimes;
  • Australia’s own history of treating its First Peoples and absolving itself of responsibility;
  • Blocked attempts to pursue cases of Genocide and other atrocity crimes in Australia;
  • Implications of the AG’s fiat on preventing and punishing Genocide and related atrocity crimes here and around the world;
  • How Australia can more effectively implement the Genocide Convention domestically.


Information to include in your submission

There are no right or wrong submissions. Submissions can be your personal story, your observations or insights into the need to prosecute perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity both here and overseas. 

Submissions can be provided as a written document, video or audio file, artwork, song and/or dance.

Your submission must include:

  • Contact information: Your name, address, phone number
  • Confidentiality: If you want your submission to be kept confidential make sure you write that at the top of the page.

Then go on to talk about:

  • Key Issues:  Identify the key problems that need to be addressed
  • Evidence: To support the key issues, the enquiry will prefer “expert opinion” however all evidence from Sovereign Peoples is considered as expert evidence in our office
  • Case studies: How have you/your community/organisation been affected by the issue? For this part, you might want to remove any identifiable information
  • Recommendations: Include possible solutions, the committee will want to know how to address the problem(s)


If your submission is quite long you may wish to include a summary at the beginning.


Submission Tips

The best submissions:

  • are relevant and highlight your own perspective
  • are concise, generally no longer than four to five pages
  • begin with a short introduction about yourself or the organisation you represent
  • emphasise the key points so that they are clear
  • outline not only what the issues are but how problems can be addressed, as the committee looks to submissions for ideas to make recommendations
  • only include documents that directly relate to your key points
  • only include information you would be happy to see published on the internet.


Further submission information can be found here and an easy English guide to making a submission can be found here.

If you need assistance in completing your submission you can contact the committee directly on 02 6277 3560 or our office on 03 9070 1950.


Send it

The deadline for submissions is July 26, 2024 

When you have finished your submission, there are 3 ways to send it to the committee.

Via their website:  Upload your submission here
Via email: [email protected]
Via mail: Committee Secretary
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600 


If you have questions about your submission you can contact them on 02 6277 3560

The inquiry website can be found here