Sunday, August 08, 2004
The High Court in a 4-3 finding upheld the Federal Governments right to indefinitely detain failed asylum seekers that have no other place to go. While this decision related to two asylum seekers, stateless Palestinian Ahmed al-Kateb and Iraqi Abbas al Khafaji, there are 13 other asylum seekers who may be affected by this decision.
This ruling overturns previous Federal court rulings which determined that the governments indefinate detention of people who had nowhere to go was illegal.
Now these asylum seekers must rely on the mercy of the federal government or hope that a kinder nation (such as New Zealand) will accept them.
Ken Parish at Troppo Armadillo has a good analysis of this decision and points out that the reasoning of the majority judges in the case of Palestinian was a little bizzare;
it must be accepted in the present appeal that, as the primary judge found, "there is no real likelihood or prospect of [the appellant's] removal in the reasonably foreseeable future", but that does not mean it will never occur. Whether and when it occurs depends largely, if not entirely, upon not only the course of events in the Middle East (his preferred destination being Gaza) but also upon the willingness of other countries to receive stateless Palestinians.
Troppo Armadillo via Barista