Asylum Seeker Reprieve in High Court
8 July 2014 at 5:26 pm
The Federal Government has given an undertaking to not return 153 asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka without 72 hours notice during an emergency court hearing in the High Court, it has been reported.
The High Court in Canberra temporarily blocked the Coalition Government from handing back to Sri Lanka 153 asylum seekers intercepted at sea, amid growing international objections to the tough immigration policies.
Law firm Shine, which represents 48 of the 153 people aboard one of the boats, won an injunction in a special hearing late on Monday after Immigration Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that 41 asylum seekers had been returned to Sri Lanka, in a move which has fuelled international criticism of Australia's hard-line immigration policy.
Reporters tweeting from the High Court, say the asylum seeker hearing will go to the Full Bench of the High Court.
Tweets revealed that Justice Susan Crennan announced that she would accept the Government’s undertaking not to hand asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka without 72 hours notice.
They also show that Justice Crennan said the case should be heard “expeditiously” by the Full Court.
The Federal Opposition said it retains grave concerns about the process which has been undertaken at sea.
“All of this could have been done on Christmas Island or Manus for precisely the same effect. But it would have been done more efficiently, more thoroughly, more transparently,” Shadow Minister for Immigration Richard Marles said.
“The only reason this has not occurred is to protect this Government's political scoreboard.
“Now that there is a High Court proceeding, which is underway, we expect this Government to abide by the law, and to ensure that it does not place any Australian personnel beyond the law.”