Refugee advocates weigh potential legal challenge to Dutton decisions
Dana McCauley – SMH –
Refugee lawyers and activists have been galvanised by the cloud hanging over Peter Dutton’s eligibility to sit in Parliament, with a potential High Court challenge looming that could see thousands of asylum seeker decisions overturned.
Fairfax Media can reveal that human rights lawyers have been poring over the Solicitor-General advice last week that left open the possibility that Mr Dutton may be ineligible under section 44 of the Constitution.
A Labor bid to have the question referred to the High Court was defeated by one vote last Thursday, but the Opposition will launch a fresh attempt when Parliament resumes in mid-September.
Human rights lawyer David Manne, executive director of Melbourne’s Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, confirmed to Fairfax Media that his organisation was “looking into” the issue on behalf of clients.
“We’ve assisted many thousands of people seeking asylum whose rights have been adversely affected in serious and profoundly harmful ways, by decisions made when Peter Dutton was minister,” he said.
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