Australia High Court Backs Offshore Refugee Detention

Australia High Court Backs offshore Refugee DetentionAustralian High Court has thrown away a legal challenge to offshore refugee detention  on February 3, 2016 paving the way to deport infants and children along with their family members to detention center in Nauru. A Bangladeshi asylum seeker had challenged the Australian offshore detention laws after she was brought to Australia from offshore detention center for medical treatment. United Nations has criticized the decision as “unreasonable” whereas Australian Prime Minister defended the court ruling.

The ruling of Australian High Court full bench on Wednesday has great implications not only for the challenger but also all those infants, children and their family members who have been brought to Australia for treatment of health issues or were born in Australia. The Australian Immigration Minister would be able to deport them to offshore detention center.

High Court has also asked the plaintiff to pay the cost of the government in this case. Bangladeshi national challenged the offshore detention laws when she was facing the possibility of being deported to detention center in Nauru with her one year old child.

Lawyers from the Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) provided the legal support for the Bangladeshi woman. The lawyers had argued in the High Court that it was no legal for Australian government to operate and pay for offshore detention in a third country.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull defended the High Court ruling in Australian Parliament and said,”Our commitment today is simply this: the people smugglers will not prevail over our sovereignty.”

“Our borders are secure. The line has to be drawn somewhere and it is drawn at our border,” Prime Minister further added.

United Nations had said in a statement that ruling was “unreasonable” in a statement and urged the government not to move ahead with the deportations to the offshore detention center.

Australia’s immigration laws allow the security fores to intercept the asylum seekers attempting to reach the country by boat and sent them to detention camps on Nauru, or on Manus island in Papua New Guinea.


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