Last week we accused Minister for Immigration Chris Bowen of being a bad parent. We firmly believe that transferring refugees to Malaysia under the recently struck deal, is both illegal and immoral. In response one well known academic and ethicist accused 1deadlynation.com of being “totally clueless”. Well it would seem the high court agrees our assessment might be spot on and some people’s ethics don’t stack up to the law.
The High Court has extended its injunction against the federal government’s attempts to send asylum seekers to Malaysia. The government was prevented from sending 16 asylum seekers to Kuala Lumpur today after High Court judge Kenneth Hayne issued a temporary injunction yesterday. Justice Hayne today extended the injunction until the full bench could consider the lawfulness of the government’s policy. Justice Hayne said it was likely the full court could hear the matter in a special sitting in the week beginning August 22.
The issue comes down to an aspect of the law which makes the Immigration minister judge, jury and executioner. He determines who is held in detention, he is the guardian of those asylum seekers who are unaccompanied children and he makes the decision on where to expel those who are no longer permitted, by his rule, to stay in Australia (detention). Further to this he makes the assessment as to the legality of removing all asylum seekers and whether the new detaining country meets the relevant human rights obligations for which Australia is a signatory.
Seems like one MASSIVE conflict of interest and it cannot logically be argued that the guardian of children could be acting in their best interest by sending them to a country such as Malaysia where their human rights are not guaranteed and the minister cannot ensure their protection and well-being.
The Government now faces having to convince the full bench of the High court that this controversial deal is legal, this again raises further questions about this already suspect arrangement.
DAVID MANNE: It certainly does because what the court has said is that the Australian Government at the moment cannot, is prohibited from expelling our clients to Malaysia pending the outcome of this case.
And this case is about our clients arguing that their claims for refugee protection should be considered in Australia instead of being expelled to Malaysia.
Now the courts will decide the fate of this ridiculous piece of policy and a ruling that strikes the Malaysia deal down must certainly be another nail in the legality and morality of any and all offshore processing and forced removal of asylum seekers whose claims have not yet be reviewed.
Are we here “totally clueless” or is the High Court, public opinion and common sense swinging the way of where our national ethic of this issue should be?!
For audio of today’s ABC radio PM report – ABC AM Report