Can the government abolish judicial review of refugee decisions? > Check the facts
Who: “There’s [an internal] review of the initial [departmental] decision …You can have the [administrative] process we’re talking about or you can have a judicial one, but you don’t have to have both.” Shadow minister for Immigration Scott Morrison, speaking about Coalition immigration policy.
The claim: Australia could operate a non-statutory, administrative process without judicial review, i.e. there would be no appeal against a government decision not to grant refugee status.
The facts: The High Court’s jurisdiction cannot be abolished by the government or the Parliament. Under Australia’s Constitution and the Judiciary Act 1903, the High Court and the Federal Court have original jurisdiction to issue constitutional writs on any matter involving an officer of the Commonwealth (section 75(v) of the Constitution).
The finding: Judicial review of decisions relating to refugee applications cannot be abolished.
Discussion of evidence: For asylum seekers able to make a valid protection visa application under the Migration Act 1958, departmental officers make an initial decision on the claim for refugee status. If the claimant is unsuccessful, he or she may appeal to the Refugee Review Tribunal. This is a special body established to review such decisions. Judicial review of RRT decisions is an option for both asylum seekers and the government. The possibility of judicial review cannot be legislated away.
There has been a succession of non-statutory procedures in place for the assessment of refugee claims by asylum seekers arriving at ‘excised offshore places’ such a Christmas Island since at least 2001. The High Court confirmed in 2010 that judicial review is available to those who are unsuccessful under these non-statutory procedures.
It would seem the Opposition wants to abolish appeals beyond the administrative mechanisms. But as pointed out neither the Government nor the Parliament has the power to do that. Those who are unsuccessful at the administrative level can appeal to the High Court as of right. Some review or appeal mechanism would need to be re-invented to ease the pressure on the High Court, just as the Native Title Tribunal was created to deal with the consequences of the Mabo decision.
Until Australia wises up and withdraws from the 1951 UN Charter on refugees and the 1967 amendment the government will always fail at the High Court. What also needs to be looked into is how the lawyers are getting their clients. Australian should act in the best interest of our country. But these immigration lawyers are definitely acting against the best interests of Australia. Charge them with treason, they are duplicite in the illegal people trafficking into Australia. Ian Rintoul stand s as a man who is by his own statements talking directly with asylum seekers in foreign countries. He was aware of the upcoming Nauru revolt, why then did he now inform police of the upcoming criminal acts. We should deport all Iranians immediately back to Indonesia and not accept any of them. We also need to stop paying Indonesian people smugglers money whilst they sit in our gaols as they are earning more than they would earn as fishermen. Pay them nothing. We should hire an Indonesian flagged ship and only pick up boat people with that boat and then sail them back to Indonesia and dump them back there for the Indonesian to look after. They are making billions and have no reason to stop. We should also stop paying foreign aide to Indonesia and Malaysia. New Zealand states don’t bother turning up there because they will not receive boat people and no-one says a thing. But we say that and we have every scum lawyer and do-gooder trying every means possible to continue the industry.
Lawyers should not be able to represent anyone that is not in Australia. The reason the lawyers are going to Nauru to represent the criminals over there pro-bono is because once they have defended them for that then they will launch legal cases to get them into Australia. They will no doubt brief their ‘clients’ on what to say to the Australian Immigration dept officials so they can get accepted. No Australian taxpayer funds should be paid to lawyers who represent anyone outside Australia unless they are Australian citizens abroad. Stop the criminal trade.
The nice thing about a free country where everyone has access to the courts is even ignorant zealots have free speech.
Philip, your reaction to my comments is one the major issues in this country. You say we have freedom to express our views but the moment you do some bleeding heart with an agenda will shout you down accusing you of being a zealot, bigot or racist. I am none of the these and I am definitely not ignorant. You morons never consider the social implications of your open door policy. The facts are we cannot help everyone, wars will always continue so long as the world allows foreign arms sales to despots. A refugee in Africa costs about $2 per day, but bring that refugee to Australia then they cost $10’s of thousands of dollars in welfare each year, plus if they in detention you can add another $120000-$150000. Then with the reunion program you can add possibly another 5-15 people. Therefore the costs become prohibitive. The easier we make it for refugees to be accepted the more that will come. That is not scare-mongering its a fact. The UN is a waste of resources, they should be holding these despots to account instead they have created an industry to shift people from low-socio-economic countries to rich western countries. All this does is lower the standard of living in these western countries and causes social and infrastructure problems in these countries. What the UN needs to do is work more with these countries to educate them which will raise their standards of living, and also address chronic over-population. If your country cannot support its population then reduce your birth rate, if you don’t then you resign your population to abject poverty, and famines as we have seen.
Freedom of speech does not imply freedom not to be contradicted and rebutted. In fact, support for the idea is based upon the belief in a marketplace of ideas and a faith that the best ideas will win in such a marketplace.
One might also say something about projection – ie projecting on to an opponent the behaviour of which you are yourself guilty. Phillip Mackanick offered a two-line reply in which he implied (quite accurately, in my view) that you were an ‘ignorant zealot’. This earned him a spray from you in which he was typecast as a ‘moron’ and a ‘bleeding heart’ (which is a reference to Christ, actually – he being the original bleeding heart) – and of course the usual complaints – even as you are exercising your freedom of speech – that he is ‘shouting you down’.
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