19 September 2011

Australian government's immigration proposals accused of breaching human rights

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A leading Australian refugee lawyer, David Manne, has accused the Australian federal government of looking to 'strip bare' key protections for asylum seekers with its proposed Australian immigration changes.

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An Australian refugee lawyer has accused the Australian federal government of stripping key protections for asylum seekers.

David Manne is a refugee advocate who led the successful challenge against the government's plans to export thousands of asylum seekers to Malaysia. He told a group of Sydney law students that the government's intentions to amend the Migration Act 1959 (which is the primary item of legislation that controls Australia visa and immigration regulations) would "strip bare" key protections for asylum seekers.

Speaking out against the government, Mr Manne stated:"These proposed changes seek to strip the Act bare of those basic protections for asylum seekers if they are to be expelled elsewhere.

"The proposals could face a High Court challenge. Were they to be enacted in law, one certainly could not rule out further challenge."

The opinions of Mr Manne were echoed by Tony Abbot, the Opposition Leader, who said "What the government's new proposal does is pay lip service to protections without actually guaranteeing them."

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