//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Australian Immigration Department criticises government policy as “harsh”


Australia Flag MapThe head of the Immigration Department has sharply criticised the Gillard government‘s decision to increase federal court fees since 2010, arguing the policy has had “harsh” and “unintended” consequences on refugee clients.

It is highly unusual for one of the government’s own departments to criticise policy in such a strident way, but in a letter to a Senate inquiry investigating the fee increases, the secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Martin Bowles, says the rationale of the legislation is not working.

“Prior to the commencement of the fee changes on 1 November 2010 clients in immigration detention, criminal custody or who were experiencing financial hardship could obtain exemptions from application fees in the commonwealth courts. Such exemptions are, however, no longer available. This means that immigration detainees are now required to pay a mandatory fee of $100 to make a valid application to the courts,” he writes.

“From our perspective, the compulsory $100 fee combined with the absence of a discretionary waiver seems to have unintended and harsh consequences for some clients. Advocates have drawn our attention most particularly to cases involving visa refusal or cancellation on character grounds and in relation to irregular maritime arrivals.”

He writes that since the 2010 decision of the High Court it has been clear that assessments of protection obligations of refugees have been judicially reviewable.

“Irregular maritime arrivals are initially detained on Christmas Island or at other immigration detention centres that may be located in physically remote areas of Australia,” Mr Bowles wrote to the Senate committee.

“The practical difficulties for clients in detention in remote locations who wish to make fee payments to court registries are manifold.

“These include lack of identity documents, a more or less total absence of credit cards or onshore bank accounts and, in most cases, negligible cash resources.”

Mr Bowles said departmental data indicated more than 41 per cent of the irregular maritime arrival judicial review caseload had filed their application in Sydney.

“However, only 25 per cent of the irregular maritime arrival judicial review caseload are in detention in Sydney,” he wrote.

“This may indicate that other parties are assisting these clients to pay or facilitate the payment of this fee.

“The department is aware of several situations that have arisen where the $100 filing fee for clients in detention has been paid for the client by their legal representatives or by immigration advocacy organisations.

“The department acknowledges that one of the original policy rationales for the fee was to test the legitimacy of applications and minimise vexatious actions.

“However, successive governments have believed that many litigants in the migration context seek to prolong their stay in Australia through litigation.

“The payment of the fee would be unlikely to deter that conduct.”

The Attorney-General’s department in its submission defended the changes as “necessary”.

Source: The Australian – Immigration Department criticises policy
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 14,942 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

  • So I made the short list for a job with Forbes-Wilcannia Catholic Care, but they want to know my age, religion & ma… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 1 hour ago
  • RT @docbaty: A quick note about the Nationals bargaining position around climate change, and that it’s possibly one of their strongest nego… 2 hours ago
  • RT @docbaty: Nobody at COP26 is going to care about whether or not Australia has a 2050 goal. They’ll be interested in what we’re doing tod… 4 hours ago
  • RT @CraigHill01: So the Nationals have backed @ScottMorrisonMP's plan for net-zero by 2050. Problem for Scott is, he doesn't actually have… 8 hours ago
  • So the Nationals have backed @ScottMorrisonMP's plan for net-zero by 2050. Problem for Scott is, he doesn't actually have a plan. #auspol 21 hours ago

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

China’s trade practices come under fire

China’s trade practices come under fire

China’s trade policies have come under strong criticism during a review at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The US accused China of “skewing the playing field” by using “unfair trade practices” such as preferential treatment for state businesses. Meanwhile Australia said the country’s behaviour was “inconsistent” with its WTO commitments. China said it was committed […]

China’s economy weakens, then gets even worse and now there’s a global shipping crisis. What’s next?

China’s economy weakens, then gets even worse and now there’s a global shipping crisis. What’s next?

The world is waking up to the fact that maybe being dependent upon China for its goods is not such a good idea. In 2019 at about the same time the US was closing on the trade deals with China, COVID emerged in China. In 2019 China’s economy was also beginning to slow down. COVID […]

U.S. needs nuclear spacecraft to compete with China, NASA official tells Congress

U.S. needs nuclear spacecraft to compete with China, NASA official tells Congress

A NASA official told Congress on Wednesday that the United States needs more nuclear spacecrafts in order to compete with China. “Strategic competitors including China are aggressively investing in a wide range of space technologies, including nuclear power and propulsion,” Bhavya Lal, NASA’s senior advisor for budget and finance, told the House Science, Space, and […]

China shows off drones recycled from Soviet-era fighter jets

China shows off drones recycled from Soviet-era fighter jets

China has for the first time showed off retired 1950s era fighter jets that have been converted to unmanned drones, with satellite photos of two of its east coast bases near Taiwan showing a large number of the jets on site. The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command published the photos of two Shenyang J-6s […]

China’s propaganda machine is intensifying its ‘people’s war’ to catch American spies

China’s propaganda machine is intensifying its ‘people’s war’ to catch American spies

“Let’s fight a ‘people’s war’ against the spies, so that they cannot move a single step and have no place to hide!” That was the rallying cry of a Chinese military newspaper on social media over the weekend, as Beijing urges public vigilance against American espionage following the launch of a CIA mission center dedicated […]

China’s blackouts break power cutoff pledge

China’s blackouts break power cutoff pledge

As China struggles to control the latest surge of power shortages, the government seems to be hoping that the public will have short memories for how it has dealt with similar problems in the past. After months of downplaying the power crisis and recommending partial fixes, central government authorities belatedly acknowledged the spread of electricity […]

Cadence Column: Asia, October 18, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, October 18, 2021

According to Chinese and US claims, China has a high-orbit, hypersonic missile that can hit a target within 24 miles. And, that’s why China is the new boss of the world and everyone else should hate America. The end. But, that’s not the end in the mind of Taiwan or the US Pentagon. This week, […]

China ‘making its nuclear submarines harder to detect’

China ‘making its nuclear submarines harder to detect’

China is upgrading its nuclear missile-equipped submarines to make them harder for rival powers such as the US to detect, reports suggest. The People’s Liberation Army Navy has redesigned its type 094 submarines to make them quieter, The South China Morning Post reports. Defence experts believe the Chinese 094 submarine can carry and launch the […]

Could China’s economy collapse?

Could China’s economy collapse?

For almost half a century, Chinese officials have overseen one of the greatest economic transformations in human history. The country has gone from collectivized farms and famine to world-leading tech companies and gleaming megacities connected by superfast trains. More than 800 million Chinese have been pulled out of poverty as the Communist Party and its leader […]

China’s economic crisis is much bigger than expected – its property market, the largest in the world, is collapsing

China’s economic crisis is much bigger than expected – its property market, the largest in the world, is collapsing

The situation in China is much worse than originally thought.  The largest property market in the world is set to collapse and the ramifications will impact the entire world.  We’ve been discussing China’s economic issues for years.  Recently this was even discussed with Steve Bannon on The War Room. We now have information that the […]

%d bloggers like this: