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  • High Court strikes down Minister's decision to cap permanent visas for refugees

    Posted 25/06/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    On 20 June 2014 the High Court unanimously upheld separate challenges by two asylum seekers who questioned the ability of the Minister to limit or cap the number of protection visas that can be granted. On 4 March 2014 Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, made a determination limiting the number of permanent protection visas that could be granted during the 2013/14 financial year. The limit of 2773 was reached only three weeks after the cap had been set. The principle question before the Court ... Read more...

    TAGS: Refugees, asylum, High Court, immigration

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  • World Refugee Day 2014 - highest levels of displacement since World War II

    Posted 20/06/2014 by Janet Phillips
    Refugee
    ZouZou/shutterstock.com

    On World Refugee Day, celebrated on 20 June each year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports on global displacement trends based on data collected from the previous calendar year by governments, Non-Government Organisation (NGO) partners and the UNHCR itself.

    This year, in its publication Global trends 2013, the UNHCR has reported that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide has exceeded 50 million people for the first time since World War II.

    Read more...

    TAGS: refugees, asylum

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  • High Court gets another chance to have the final word on regional processing

    Posted 18/06/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    Australian flag
    On 18 June 2014, the High Court unanimously ruled that the statutory scheme under which Papua New Guinea (PNG) was designated as a regional processing country is constitutionally valid. This FlagPost examines the events that led up to the Court’s decision.   In May 2011, in the context of increasing numbers of unauthorised maritime arrivals (UMAs), former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard announced that Australia would enter into an agreement with Malaysia that would see 800 UMAs transfe... Read more...

    TAGS: Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing

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  • Offshore processing: lessons from the ‘Pacific Solution’

    Posted 15/04/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    On 9 May 2014, the High Court of Australia is scheduled to begin considering the legality of the former Government’s decision to classify Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a regional processing country. Amongst other things, the plaintiff argues that the former Labor Government failed to take into account advice from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) which stated there were no laws and procedures in place in PNG for the determination of refugee status or immigration officers with the e... Read more...

    TAGS: asylum refugees immigration

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  • Asylum levels and trends in industrialised countries 2013

    Posted 28/03/2014 by Harriet Spinks

    On 21 March 2014 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released Asylum levels and trends in industrialised countries 2013. The report provides data on asylum claims lodged in 44 industrialized countries (38 European countries plus the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia), and reveals a number of interesting trends.

    Read more...

    TAGS: Asylum, Refugees

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  • Temporary Protection by hook or by crook

    Posted 5/03/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    The Coalition has consistently argued for the reintroduction of Temporary Protection Visas (or TPVs as they are more commonly known) because it considers them to be an essential component of its border protection arsenal to deter asylum seekers from trying to enter Australia by boat. When in Opposition in early 2013, the Coalition unsuccessfully introduced legislation to try to reintroduce TPVs. When they formed Government six months later, the domestic landscape had changed significantly. Some ... Read more...

    TAGS: refugees, asylum seekers, immigration

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  • Coalition and Labor asylum policies - how do they compare?

    Posted 28/02/2014 by Janet Phillips
    Australian Customs Vessel ACV30 Botany Bay returns to Stokes Hill Wharf
    Ken Hodge [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    In response to a rise in the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia, both Coalition and Labor governments have been under increasing pressure for many years to develop policies that are seen to address border security concerns and combat people smuggling.

    While there are some policy differences, both Labor and the Coalition are in general agreement on many of the key measures in place to deal with these issues, including mandatory detention for unauthorised boat arrivals introduced in the 1990s by the Keating (Labor) Government; and offshore processing arrangements in the Pacific first introduced by the Howard (Coalition) Government in 2001.

    Read more...

    TAGS: asylum, refugees, people smuggling

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  • Abolishing free legal advice to asylum seekers — who really pays?

    Posted 27/11/2013 by Elibritt Karlsen
    Image source: unhcr.org
    One week before the 2013 federal election, the Coalition announced that, if elected, it would no longer provide funding for free legal advice to asylum seekers who have arrived without a valid visa. The primary concern for the Coalition was clearly the increasing cost of providing this service. However, one month prior to the Coalition’s announcement, the Government had entered into a regional resettlement arrangement with Papua New Guinea which meant all future boat arrivals would be processed ... Read more...

    TAGS: asylum, immigration, refugees

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  • A return to Temporary Protection Visas?

    Posted 18/11/2013 by Harriet Spinks
    Image source: Australian Human Rights Commission
    On 18 October 2013 the newly elected Coalition Government registered an amendment to the Migration Regulations 1994 providing for the re-introduction of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs). Unsurprisingly, given their vocal opposition to TPVs, the Australian Greens have moved to disallow the Regulation. This FlagPost provides an historical overview of the TPV, and outlines the arrangements that will be in place should the new TPV system withstand the disallowance motion.The TPV was first introduce... Read more...

    TAGS: asylum, immigration, refugees

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  • Complementary protection: open and accountable or 'opening the floodgates'

    Posted 11/07/2013 by Michael Klapdor
    Image source: DIAC
    Media reports have suggested that the decision by the Full Federal Court in the case of SZGIZ v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship [2013] FCAFC 71 has ‘exposed an embarrassing loophole’ in current migration law that could ‘leave the door open to thousands of asylum seekers who have already been rejected as refugees’. While the decision is significant in that it allows for a further protection visa claim to be made by an individual who has previously had a claim rejected, the characterisati... Read more...

    TAGS: asylum, refugees

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