Senate debates

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Immigration Detention

3:27 pm

Photo of Nick McKimNick McKim (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate take note of Senator Brandis's response to my questions relating to the forcible deportation of people from Manus Island.

I am glad Senator Brandis has remained in the chamber. I will take this opportunity, for his edification, to read a little bit more of the legal advice of Professor Jane McAdam from the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at University of New South Wales, because I genuinely believe it puts the lie to Senator Brandis's claim that no-one is having their rights trammelled here. Before I do that I want to be very clear that the Attorney-General's responses both this morning and this afternoon in this chamber regarding the ongoing forcible deportation of detainees from Manus Island were not only intellectually vacuous, not only an abrogation of his moral responsibilities as a human being, but an abandonment of the rule of law, which Senator Brandis professes to care so much about.

The reason I say that last point is that Professor McAdam in her opinion, which is on the website of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, says, as I quoted earlier this afternoon: 'Papua New Guinea's refugee status determination process is inconsistent with international law in a number of significant respects.'

Then, importantly, it goes on to make this point: 'People's protection needs are not assessed against Papua New Guinea's obligations under international human rights treaties, which means that there is no assessment of whether they may be sent back to face a real risk of being arbitrarily deprived of their life, tortured, or exposed to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.' That is the opinion of an extremely—and rightfully—highly regarded professor with significant—


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