By Rod Benson
In a unanimous decision the High Court has ruled in favour of two asylum seekers who claimed they were denied legal fairness when they applied for a review of their refugee claims.
The two Tamil men arrived by boat from Sri Lanka on October 2. Their claim for refugee status was denied, but they were prevented from appealing that decision because they were on Christmas Island. In the past, asylum seekers who arrived by boat were denied access to Australian courts.
The High Court decision means that there is no legal benefit for the government to detain boat people off-shore. Good news for asylum seekers, and more may now be inspired to make the risky journey.
It will also fan the flames of racism and xenophobia in Australia, which unscrupulous politicians will no doubt turn to their own advantage.
The High Court has called for a fair go for all. It’s about time we took notice.
Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 14 November 2010.