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February 7, 2012


by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Refugee supporters will protest outside the Sydney court precinct, Queens Square, Macquarie Street, in Sydney between 9.00 and 10.00am, Wednesday, 8 February. Speakers at the protest will include Irene Doutney from NSW Greens, Amelia Savage from Friends of Ismail and the Refugee Action Coalition.

The protest will mark the start of a High Court case in Canberra, the outcome of which will determine the possibility of the government going ahead with deportations to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. The case, which involves five lead cases has been set down for two day’s hearing by the High Court.

Late last year, the attempt to remove, Ismail Mirza Jan, the first Afghan asylum seeker under the Memorandum of Understanding with the Afghan government was only stopped by a High Court injunction when Ismail was joined to the High Court case.

Potentially this High Court case will have as significant an impact as the M61 case in November 2010 which gave all asylum seekers, both on-shore and of-shore applicants, the right to judicial review of their refugee assessments.

The fate of many asylum seekers presently regarded as “out of process” and slated for deportation rests on the outcome of the case.

The case will determine, whether, and in what circumstances, asylum seekers are entitled to procedural fairness regarding advice given to the Minister when making final decisions regarding appeals to remain in Australia.

If this case is successful, asylum seekers will be able to seek judicial review of such decisions.

“There are serious flaws in the refugee determination process that still need to be addressed,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “a win in this case will mean that the process is a little more transparent. That’s the least that can be asked when the Minister and departmental officials are making life and death decisions.”

The instructing firm of solicitors for the case is Sydney firm, Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers.

For more information, contact Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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