ADF Breaking international law

Jaimie made this Freedom of Information request to Prime Minister

The request was refused by Prime Minister.

From: Jaimie


Dear Prime Minister,
What was the legal basis for Australia’s detention policy in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Did Australia express concern to the US regarding its illegal detention practices?
What formal arrangements were put in place to ensure a US soldier was always present with ADF troops to take legal responsibility for their capture?
What policies and procedures are now in place to ensure that Australia complies with international law in relation to the detention and treatment of captives?

Yours faithfully,
Jaimie Bruce

Link to this

Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

This is a personal letter to the Prime Minister but it does not have a connection with the Freedom of Information Act. It is a list of questions mixed with assertions about the law; but if it is the law of Australia, the law of the United States, or "international law" is not clear. There is no reference to any specific law so we cannot verify if the assertions are true or not. Also there is no clarity that Australia is subject to the specific law if it were stated. There is no request for a specific document. Also it does not "provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the agency, or the Minister, to identify it [the document]", section 15(2)(b).

The proper response for the Prime Minister, in accordance with the law in Australia, is to say that the letter does not create a valid request under s 15 of the Freedom of Information Act ( , and also to help Jamie Bruce to make a valid request if the applicant needs this help.

Link to this

From: FOI
Prime Minister


Dear Mr Bruce,


I refer to your email to the Prime Minister, dated Friday 17 April 2015.


The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department) provides
administrative support to the Prime Minister in relation to Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests made to him.


Your request as currently framed is not a valid FOI request for the
purposes of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI Act). We have noted you
are seeking details broadly for information about Australia’s detention
policy in Iraq and Afghanistan. In particular, you have posed 4 specific


Subsection 15(1) of the FOI Act entitles a person to receive access to
official documents of a Minister – notwithstanding its name, the FOI Act
deals with access to documents created or held by the Minister, not merely
information.  In addition, under subsection 15(2) of the Act, a valid
request must provide such information about a document as to enable the
responsible office of the Minister to identify it.


We therefore ask that you reframe the request to meet the requirements of
the FOI Act as outlined above. 


Once we have received a valid request, we will begin processing your


Kind regards


FOI Adviser

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. +61 2 6271 5849

e. [1][Prime Minister request email]




show quoted sections

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Prime Minister only: