Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2020

Liberty Victoria

No compelling case has been put forward by the Government to justify the proposed amendments and they are entirely unnecessary and disproportionate;

The amendments would provide the Minister with an unjustifiably broad personal power to prohibit anything he or she personally wished to specify, including items that pose no specific threat;

The expansion of search powers proposed by the Bill fail to recognise the many different forms of immigration detention and circumstances of detainees, and would have a profoundly adverse impact on those that are highly vulnerable people, including refugees and asylum seekers with past experiences of torture and trauma; and

The prohibition of communication devices such as mobile phones would unreasonably interfere with basic human rights of immigration detainees, including access to legal representation, freedom of expression and association, as well as inhibiting the ability of vulnerable people to access essential assistance and support, including from mental health professionals, immediate family and religious counsel. 

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