Refugee Council of Australia, 9 November 2023

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) has welcomed the High Court’s decision that has found indefinite immigration detention to be unlawful and unconstitutional in cases where there is no prospect of people being returned. 

Paul Power, CEO of RCOA, has called for the urgent review of the cases of all people in immigration detention, to enable the release of those who cannot be returned, including refugees, people fleeing war and persecution, and stateless people. 

“Indefinite detention has always been morally wrong and unlawful under international human rights law. It is welcome to see the High Court start to overturn its 2004 decision of Al-Kateb and recognise that such detention should not be permitted in Australia,” Mr Power said.

“The High Court’s decision is a welcome step in abolishing the inhumane policy of indefinite detention. The High Court has recognised that such detention should not be permissible in Australia. It is time now for the Minister for Immigration to urgently review the cases of all those detained and work towards ending the policy of mandatory indefinite detention.”

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