Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Removal and Other Measures) Bill 2024

Liberty Victoria

Liberty Victoria is appalled by the introduction of a Bill that, among other things, seeks to jail people for at least a year if they fail to assist with their own removal even where they are owed Australia’s non-refoulement obligations. The Bill also undoes protection findings to broaden who may be removed from Australia to the country from which they fled and excludes visa applications from countries left up to the Minister of the day to designate.

This Bill is a transparent and knee-jerk reaction to the High Court of Australia’s decision in NZYQ, and the perceived “threat” of the expansion of this precedent through the current matter before the High Court, ASF17. The government response to NZYQ could have been to show leadership by acknowledging and respecting Australia’s highest court’s ruling in respect of the unconstitutionality of immigration detention where there is no real prospect of the removal of a person from Australia becoming practicable in the reasonably foreseeable future. It could have appreciated that the arbitrary deprivation of a person’s liberty is a breach of one of the most fundamental of human rights. It could have proceeded to implement meaningful, considered reform of a system in crisis. Instead, the overwhelming political and media response has been to swiftly and forcefully marginalise non-citizens, including those most deserving of Australia’s compassion – people who are refugees, stateless or seeking asylum.


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