Government can detain asylum seekers brought to Australia for medical reasons, High Court finds
By Elizabeth Byrne – ABC News – 3 May 2017
The Federal Government continues to have the power to detain people brought to Australia from offshore detention for medical and other reasons, the High Court has ruled.
The case was brought by a mother and daughter from Iran who came to Australia for treatment in 2014.
The two originally landed at Christmas Island in 2013, but were eventually taken to Nauru.
Their lawyers argued under the constitution the Government’s detention powers extended only to those seeking entry with a visa or in the process of being expelled or deported.
The High Court was told none of the criteria applied to the women, because they were not entitled to seek a visa, because of their detention offshore, nor were they in the process of being deported.
The court was told the women had not been detained for a legitimate non-punitive purpose.
But the Government urged the court to throw out the entire challenge, saying its powers were valid.
The court agreed, finding the detention was for a lawful purpose, namely their eventual removal from Australia.
Both have been allowed to live outside detention since late last year.
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