find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
No progress since Tampa

No progress since Tampa

Despite it being 10 years today (26 August) since the Australian Government refused to allow the Tampa and its asylum seekers to land in Australia, there has been little progress in terms of…

Despite it being 10 years today (26 August) since the Australian Government refused to allow the Tampaand its asylum seekers to land in Australia, there has been little progress in terms of achieving access to justice for asylum seekers.

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Tampa at last night's annual Law and Social Change Dialogue, hosted by the Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) in Victoria, the manager of the Victorian Bar Pro Bono Scheme, Melanie Dye, noted the lack of change that has occurred since the Tampa incident in 2001.

"Quite unfortunately, we seem to be in a very similar situation that we were in 10 years ago," Dye told Lawyers Weekly. "We're continuing to focus on the actual asylum seekers rather than the actual policies and also our international obligations under various conventions and protocols."

PILCH has this week called upon the Government to ensure asylum seekers are able to assert their legal right to protection.

Specifically, PILCH has called for the allocation of funding to legal aid commissions for direct legal services to enable offshore asylum seekers to effectively exercise their judicial review right.

"When the High Court ruled last year that offshore asylum seekers have the right to exercise judicial review, it provided hope for many people in remote immigration detention centres across the country. However, as the months have rolled on, it has become clear that this hope was misguided," said Dye.

"[With] such a substantive decision such as M61, around that time or prior to that time, there was no engagement with the Government about what this actually means for people. If you open up this avenue for people, yet you don't address the barriers that are in place, then having that right, in a way, is somewhat lessened."

In its submission to the Immigration Detention Network Inquiry, PILCH recently sought to have the 35-day period, in which judicial review applications can be lodged following notice that an application was unsuccessful, doubled to 70 days.

"[70 days] will enable people more time to be able to get the merits assessment of their matter, rather than actually putting in unmeritorious applications just to get over the 35-day filing rule," said Dye.

At last night's Dialogue, which featured the Honourable Justice Chris Maxwell as well as human rights lawyers Julian Burnside AO QC and Debbie Mortimer SC, attendees debated refugee and asylum seeker issues from the past and present and whether change is possible.

"Is change possible? How can we actually move on from this and what can we actually do as a collective of passionate advocates in making that change and being effective in that change," said Dye.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

No progress since Tampa
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA applauds proposed Modern Slavery Act
The Law Council of Australia has welcomed new recommendations for the development of a Modern Slaver...
Top-tier offers targeted mentoring for Indigenous law students
Students at Macquarie University will be the first to benefit from a new Indigenous mentoring progra...
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...