find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Onshore processing best solution: expert

Onshore processing best solution: expert

Australia must get back to basics and begin processing asylum seekers onshore, according to a refugee law expert.Dr Angus Francis, a refugee law expert with the Queensland University of…

Australia must get back to basics and begin processing asylum seekers onshore, according to a refugee law expert.

Dr Angus Francis, a refugee law expert with the Queensland University of Technology, told Lawyers Weekly that the High Court's decision in M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship & Anor, in which the Government's plans to export asylum seekers to Malaysia were found to be unlawful, makes it clear that Australia's international obligations must now be taken seriously.

"I would hope [the decision] makes it clear that our international obligations are the key consideration that has to be taken into account. They are not just another policy consideration," he said. "I know there are very important competing priorities - such as border security and saving lives at sea - but, at the end of the day, we do have international obligations and they will be taken to the High Court in the context of the Migration Act, and we have to abide by them."

Francis said the decision now means the Government will have to rethink offshore processing, but he added that this should not be a particularly difficult exercise.

"This does not require radical new thinking. What is needed is 'back to basics'," he said. "Forget offshore processing. Forget processing on Christmas Island. Assess onshore, on the mainland, according to fair and effective procedures that can determine who is a refugee and who is not."

This, said Francis, will ensure that Australia sets an example for others in the region.

"It is up to the policy makers now to take [the decision] on board and work towards solutions that accommodate those obligations, that they are workable and that address a regional solution," he said. "Australia has to be able to go to the region - to countries like Indonesia and Malaysia - and say; 'Look, we have in place a system for processing refugee claimants and this is something we'd like to export to the region'. Rather than exporting our refugees, let's export the model for processing them onshore and set an example."

Despite the landmark decision which has drawn harsh criticism from Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Francis is not convinced change will come.

"I hope that it will change things, but history would suggest that maybe not," he said. "Politicians have more short-term considerations in mind."

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

Onshore processing best solution: expert
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...