30 January 2017
This submission primarily addresses the Committee's first Term of Reference: 'the mix, coordination and extent of settlement services available and the effectiveness of these services in promoting better settlement outcomes for migrants.
We highlighted the importance of access to justice and legal education for successful settlement, and the need to take a long-term view of settlement, particularly for families of refugee backgrounds.
A copy is also available on the submissions page of the Inquiry website.
31 October 2014
The Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 (the Bill) was introduced to the House of Representatives on 25 September 2014 and was referred by the Senate to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee for inquiry and report.
We had significant concerns about aspects of the Bill. The most serious of these were:
- the Bill was inconsistent with Australia’s obligations under the international human rights treaties; and
- the Bill compounded inequality under the law by providing for different classes of visa, different forms of refugee status assessment and different forms of merits review according to time and mode of arrival.
21 May 2014
We submitted feedback in response to the Productivity Commission's Draft Report: Inquiry into Access to Justice Arrangements. The Report covered topics including legal representation in tribunals, legal health checks for disadvantaged groups and pro bono services, which are all areas of our expertise.
The Bill proposed amendments to the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) to remove the criterion for grant of a protection visa on ‘complementary protection’ grounds.
We recommended that the proposed amendments not be passed. We considered that repeal of the complementary protection provisions would have a detrimental impact on the efficiency of the system and the well-being of asylum seekers. We were also concerned that Australia would be less able to meet its international obligations if this Bill passed.
We commended the Joint Parliamentary Committee to address the problems arising in the Immigration Detention Network by dealing with the very cause of these problems: mandatory, indefinite detention. We submitted that mandatory detention had created unnecessary burdens on asylum seekers, departmental and contractor staff, as well as the wider community.