The High Court will hand down a decision tomorrow morning in a test case challenging the lawfulness of the Australian Government’s role in offshore detention on Nauru.
The Human Rights Law Centre ran the case – heard by the full bench of the High Court on 7-8 October – on behalf of a woman from Bangladesh who was detained on Nauru but brought to Australia for urgent medical treatment during the late stages of her pregnancy.
The HRLC's Director of Legal Advocacy, Daniel Webb, said his client, her husband and their one-year old baby are terrified of being sent back to Nauru.
“This mother just wants what all mothers want – her child to have a good life somewhere safe,” said Mr Webb.
The mother’s case is the lead case linked to a series of challenges being run on behalf of more than 260 people who have been brought to Australia for urgent medical treatment after suffering harm in offshore detention centres. (You can read about some of their personal stories here.)
Mr Webb said the Government had shifted the goalposts during the case. When the challenge was first launched the Government made retrospective changes to the law which were waved through Parliament by the Opposition and then on the eve of the High Court hearing, a move to an ‘open centre’ on Nauru was announced.
“The legality is complex but the morality is simple – it would be fundamentally wrong for the Government to condemn these families to a life in limbo on Nauru," said Mr Webb.
MEDIA ALERT - Doorstop Press Conference
11:30am Wednesday 3 Febraury 2016 in in the High Court forecourt (front) in Parkes Place, Canberra.
Featuring Daniel Webb, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre.
For further information contact:
Adrian Dodd from EMC on 0401 726 476 or Tom Clarke, HRLC Director of Communication, on 0422 545 763 or firstname.lastname@example.org