High Court rules Manus Island centre is legal

High Court rules Manus Island centre is legal

The High Court has today confirmed the legality of Australia’s asylum seeker processing centre on Manus Island.

The High Court in Canberra had been considering whether the law, declaring Papua New Guinea as a regional processing country, is legal under the Constitution.

The case has been launched by lawyers for an Iranian asylum seeker who arrived at Christmas Island last year, arguing his removal to Manus Island was illegal.

They have accused former immigration minister Chris Bowen of failing to legally designate Manus Island as an asylum seeker processing centre.

Had the case been successful, it would forced the closure of the centre, and thrown the Federal Government’s off-shore processing policy in to disarray.

But the court has dismissed the legal challenge, ruling the centre is constitutional, and the offshore processing can continue.

In 2011, the High Court overturned a policy by the Labor Gillard government, for a “people swap” arrangement with Malaysia, because the Malaysian government was not a signatory of the refugee convention.

But the Manus Island case is different, as PNG has ratified the convention.


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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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