Ben Doherty – The Guardian – 21 July 2018
A court judgment has ruled the government’s attempt to excise Ashmore Reef from Australia’s migration zone 16 years ago was invalid.
Asylum seekers who arrived through Ashmore Reef, 600km north of Broome, could sue the government for unlawful detention
… the federal government has moved an uncommon piece of legislation – seeking to retrospectively legitimise Ruddock’s faulty appointment.
The migration (validation of port appointment) bill 2018, would seek to ensure that Ashmore Reef was a “properly proclaimed port” and that “all things done … which relied on the terms … are valid and effective”.
“The effect of the bill will simply maintain the status quo for unauthorised maritime arrivals … The government will not hesitate to legislate to protect the integrity of Australia’s migration framework,” home affairs minister Peter Dutton told parliament.
[Partner with Estrin Saul Lawyers Daniel Estrin*] said the level of retrospectivity in the government’s bill was unprecedented.
* Daniel Estrin brought the challenge in the federal circuit court, on behalf of three asylum seekers – two of whom were brought into Australia through Ashmore Reef, and another, who, for years, was told by the government he had, but who never actually went there because of poor weather.
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