A new report shines a light on the growing powers of the Minister. When norms like the presumption of innocence are challenged, we all lose, writes Max Chalmers.
Imagine a neighbour accuses you of a crime. The police investigate and file charges. It’s a minor crime, the neighbour says you stole a lawnmower, but their anger spurs police to push ahead. Before the case is complete the police drop the charges; the lawnmower turns up at the back of the neighbour’s shed.
For an Australian citizen, that would be the end of the matter. For an asylum seeker living in the community as their application is processed, the same encounter could well result in an indefinite period behind bars.
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