14 Jul 2003

Broad immunity planned for Solomons intervention force members

3:47 pm on 14 July 2003

The members of the armed police and military force which Australia wants to restore law and order in Solomon Islands will be given broad powers, including immunity from prosecution.

The Solomon Islands Cabinet debated the immunity clause over the weekend ahead of the tabling of the "Facilitation of International Assistance Bill" later this week.

In its latest version the bill says members of the intervention force shall be immune from legal proceedings in Solomon Islands courts in relation to actions taken by them in the course of, or incidental to, their official duties.

These include criminal, civil, disciplinary, administrative and custom legal proceedings.

The measure also says that the intervention force shall have sole responsibility for the internal command, control, discipline and administration of their personnel.