When travelling, you should ensure that you familiarise yourself with the local laws of your destination country prior to departure and that you take every care not to break those laws during your stay.

Upon your arrival in another country, its laws will apply to you. These laws may differ substantially to those that you are accustomed to in Australia. If you are arrested for any reason while overseas, you should ask to contact the Australian Consul immediately.

However, while the Consul may provide assistance such as contact with legal representatives and next-of-kin, the Consul does not have the power to secure the release of Australian citizens.

In particular, the issue of drug offences has been highly topical of late. In this regard, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued the following advice to Australian citizens travelling abroad: 

  • Do not purchase, take or travel with drugs
  • Do not leave your bags unattended or in the care of a stranger
  • Do not carry anything into or out of another country on behalf of someone else
  • Secure and lock your luggage to prevent tampering

Prior to travelling, check whether any medication you require contains any substance that is illegal in your destination country. If carrying prescription drugs, it is advisable to take a letter from your doctor as to your need for them.
For further information regarding travel abroad and foreign criminal law, please telephone Greg Dickson or email greg@wmdlaw.com.au. You can also visit www.smartraveller.gov.au

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