Government facing High Court challenge over protection visas

Government facing High Court challenge over protection visas

The Federal Government could be facing a second High Court challenge,  to its policy on permanent protection for refugees.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has indicated he will apply a so-called ‘national interest’ test, on every asylum seeker who applies for permanent protection.

It comes in response to a High Court decision two weeks ago, which ruled the government was not allowed to cap the number of protection visas given to refugees each year.

Under the new proposal, Mr Morrison would be able to deny an application for protection if he deems in in the ‘national interest’, such as if it appeared to be “rewarding” those who arrive “illegally”.

Refugee groups have indicated they may launch another High Court challenge against the move,with refugee advocate David Manne saying it would be against the will of the parliament and Australian  law.

But Foreign Minister Julie Bishop maintains Australia is complying with it’s international obligations.

It comes as the United Nations Refugee Agency has raised concerns about reports of as asylum seeker boat, which may have been intercepted by Australian authorities.

The government is refusing to confirm or deny the boatload of Tamil asylum seekers, or comment on whether the asylum seekers have been handed to the Sri Lankan navy to be processed at sea.

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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