Business figures with ties to corrupt or brutal regimes should be banned from moving to Australia, human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson says.
Corrupt Asian and European businessmen would be banned from living the high life on the Gold Coast if Australia followed the United States, an international law expert says.
Geoffrey Robertson wants Australia to implement laws that ban the migration of foreigners who are living off bribes or slave labour, or who are linked to brutal regimes.
This would include people who have been spared punishment by corrupt courts.
The sanctions would be modelled on US laws passed in 2012, which were named after Russian lawyer and auditor Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison in November 2009 after he investigated fraud involving tax officials in his country.
Canada is exploring its own version of the Magnitsky Act, which bans allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin from entering the US or accessing American banking.
But Mr Robertson, a QC who specialists in human rights law, said Australia could go further and ban the migration of all business figures with ties to regimes that are corrupt or abuse human rights.
“It would include all certain Asian businessman who are well known to be living off the proceeds of corruption, and their families, who generally have pads on the Gold Coast,” he told AAP in Brisbane on Tuesday, on the sidelines of Griffith University’s Global Integrity Summit.
“It would include some from Europe, Russians and Bulgarians and others, and Italians of course, who have been identified as scions of corrupt family businesses.”
Under Mr Robertson’s proposal, an independent tribunal would determine who is placed on a banned list, including corporations.
They would have their bank accounts frozen and be denied the right to be treated by Australian doctors or have their children enrolled at school as part of a global Magnitsky movement.
“It’s a movement that Australia should join in the battle for a better world,” Mr Robertson said.
People on a global banned list could apply to be removed.