Hmph. Well, the High Court have decided to find in favour of the Australian government. But this isn’t over yet – not by a long shot.
We must keep showing the government that we care about refugees and asylum seekers. We want them to stay. Reminder for fellow Australians that there are protests happening across Australia over the next few days – see my previous post for more info, I’ll stick it to the blog dashboard.
I’m really angry, though I have to say I’m not that surprised. The situation in Australian regarding asylum seeker rights has become so bad that I’m always expecting the worst but hoping for the best.
I said all I could say this morning. Here is a screenshot of the Anglican Parish of Gosford’s post earlier today. Father Rod makes a very, very pertinent point.
See more here for the ABC’s take on it. Quoting from the online article:
High Court throws out challenge to Nauru offshore immigration detention
The High Court has thrown out a challenge to the Australian Government’s immigration detention centre on Nauru.
- Majority of court’s bench found current Government arrangements valid under Constitution
- Advocates back calls to allow dozens of children currently in Australia to remain
- Sarah Hanson-Young says “sending 90 children to dangers of Nauru is child abuse”
The case was launched by a Bangladeshi detainee on Nauru who was brought to Australia for treatment after she experienced health issues during pregnancy.
She gave birth to her daughter in Brisbane, and brought the challenge to avoid being returned to the detention centre.
Lawyers for the woman argued that it was illegal for the Australian Government to fund and operate detention centres in a third country.
During the case the Government changed the law to close a loophole in the funding arrangements, which it feared could be undermined by the challenge.
Today a majority of the court’s bench found the current government arrangements were valid under the constitution.
Justice Michelle Gordon, the most recent appointment to the bench, issued the lone dissenting judgment that the laws rushed through in June were invalid.
Before the decision, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton flagged his intention to send a group of 160 adults, 37 babies and 54 children currently in Australia back to Nauru, should the Government win.
One of the children facing return to Nauru is a five-year-old boy allegedly raped at the detention centre, but Mr Dutton has said he will take concerns from doctors about the boy’s welfare into consideration.
The boy’s alleged attacker remains at the centre.
The lawyer leading the case against the Government, Daniel Webb from the Human Rights Law Centre, has criticised the Government for changing the law while the challenge was underway.
Mr Webb said they “shifted the goalposts”.
“Right now, I’m sure in the Immigration Minister’s office it’s high fives all round,” he said.
“They won in the High Court, but let me tell you, around the country right now there are 267 incredibly vulnerable people who will be terrified.”
Mr Webb urged the Government to allow the detainees to remain in Australia.
“Our government retains both legal and moral responsibility for what happens to innocent people in our care,” he said.
“The stroke of a pen is all that it would take for the Prime Minister or our Immigration Minister to do the decent thing and let these families stay.”
Read more by clicking on the link above.