Up to 1,600 cases of asylum seekers who were deemed to have entered Australia via Ashmore Reef and therefore made subject to offshore processing may need to be revisited. Photograph: Royal Australian Navy/PR IMAGE
The various attacks on the law being made by the Federal Government to advance or protect its policies are extremely worrying. As evidenced by the case against Lawyer Collaery and Witness K. Now a court judgement this month found that Australia’s attempted excision of the Ashmore and Cartier islands in 2002 was invalid, and up to 1,600 asylum cases may need to be revisited. As a result of this invalid excision 1,600 asylum seekers were designated ‘offshore entries’ and have spent up to five years in detention. Now the government has legislation currently before parliament seeking to retrospectively legitimise The Ruddock declaration of 2002! This is a dangerous attack on the rule of law.