Today’s High Court ruling, which said the Government’s withholding of a protection visa because of a negative ASIO assessment was unlawful, is the first step in closing a long running legal black hole according to the Australian Greens.
“Today the High Court of Australia found that the Government has wrongly detained men, women and children and has once again acted outside of the law,” Greens spokesperson for immigration and human rights Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“For years we have been witness to an unacceptable situation where people who have been found to be genuine refugees before receiving a negative security assessment from ASIO were not allowed into our community, not allowed to challenge their assessment and were unable to go home.
“In a decent democracy people are given the opportunity to have their cases heard before we lock them up and throw away the key.
“The Government is now under more pressure than ever before to rectify the situation and restore the rule of law.
“On Wednesday next week I will be introducing a bill into the Senate which would fix the legal loophole that today’s high Court decision has condemned.
"My bill is aimed at helping some 60 refugee men, women and children, including pregnant mother Ranjini and her two young boys who are in Villawood indefinitely. It will allow people to see the reasons for their adverse assessment and give them the chance to challenge their detention.
“It is tragic, but in no way surprising, that we have seen suicide attempts and mental breakdowns from the people who have been caught in this system of endless imprisonment.
“This unlawful detention has only made the trauma these refugees have suffered worse and the Government must change their ways before more children and people are damaged.
“Surely, as a nation, we can do better.”
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