Sunday, August 08, 2004


The High Court of Australia, the highest court in the land, has ruled that the Migration Act gives the government all the legitimate power it needs to detain people indefinitely.

And asylum-seekers who are “stateless or lacked identification” could be detained forever under the law; if the government can find no other country to accept them.

Lawyers and fervent supporters of asylum-seekers draw attention to the ambiguity in the law; arguing that the court should look to the international human rights provisions for guidance on the issue.

Nevertheless, the court’s position remains unshakable - a big win for the Howard government. But bad news for those who want a more liberal asylum policy.

On the whole, the court’s asylum ruling will have a significant impact on the asylum-seekers whose cases are yet to be decided; and on those whose status in Australian society is difficult to determine.

Many Africans will be affected by this decision.

Asylum-seekers beware!

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