House debates

Thursday, 30 November 2023

Questions without Notice

Immigration Detention

2:41 pm

Photo of Andrew GilesAndrew Giles (Scullin, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the shadow minister for that extraordinary question. Let me be very, very, very clear. The High Court, in its decision, required the release of individuals in similar circumstances to the plaintiff, NZYQ. The government had to comply with this, as any government would. The opposition's claims to the contrary, including those of the shadow Attorney-General, a former first law officer of this country, are baseless, wrong and, frankly, unworthy. A former attorney-general, not from this side of politics, former senator Brandis, had this to say, and I think his comments are worth listening to:

I have not disguised my concern at attacks upon the institutions of the law: the courts and those who practice in them. To attack those institutions is to attack the rule of law itself.

He went on to say, in his valedictory remarks:

It is for the Attorney-General always to defend the rule of law, sometimes from political colleagues who fail to understand it or are impatient of the limitations it may impose upon executive power.

That is a very apt comment now, and members opposite should have regard to it, and they should be ashamed.


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