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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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My question relates to part 5.5 Foreign Incursions and Recruitment,

Customer Question

My question relates to part 5.5 Foreign Incursions and Recruitment, particularly in regards ***** ***** 119.
My understanding from this is that it would be illegal for an Australian to go join a group in the Middle east such as ISIS and that it would be similarly illegal to join a group fighting against ISIS. However my understanding is that it is not Illegal to join a foreign army of a national government. Hence one can join the British army or the IDF as many Australians have done in the past and will continue to do in the future, without breaking the law. My question therefore is, if someone want to go to the middle east and join the fight against ISIS, could this person legally from an Australian legal perspective, join the Iraqi Army, or more precisely the Peshmerga of Iraqi Kurdistan who are recognised under the Iraqi constitution as being a part of the Iraqi Army? ***** *****e, the previous head of ASIO had stated in August 2014 that it would not be illegal for an Australian to join the Iraqi Army. However this was before the Foreign Fighters Incursion Act was superseded by the new legislation and included in the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act Does what he said stand the same now?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good Afternoon,You do risk being charged when you come back.It all depends on what intelligence the Australian Government is given.There baas a case where a man was fighting against ISIS but he has been charged and still in the courts.The new legislation now applies to all and the past legislation no longer applies.It is something that you should not do because you will find yourself charged and then have to prove that you had not breached it.Further it is new legislation and there are not many cases that have been decided if any. So it is hard to say how the courts will interpret it.