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Australia is strongly committed to tackling war crimes and takes allegations of war crimes very seriously. Legislation such as the Criminal Code Act 1995, the Geneva Conventions Act 1957 and the Crimes (Hostages) Act 1989 all target potential war crimes and crimes against humanity in the modern era. However, the War Crimes Act 1945 (the Act) was enacted to specifically enable the prosecution of Australian citizens or residents who are known to have committed war crimes in Europe during the Second World War.

Section 21 of the Act requires the Attorney-General to, as soon as practicable after 30 June in each year, cause a report about the operation of the Act during the year ending on 30 June to be prepared and cause a copy of the report to be tabled before Parliament within 15 sitting days after the report is prepared.

This report provides information on the operation of the War Crimes Act 1945 to June 2010.

Date Published: Wednesday, 30 June 2010