Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Lobby challenges Govt to bring asylum seeker policy into line with court ruling

Independent Catholic lobbyist PolMin has said yesterday's Federal Court ruling that the Government has no power to detain asylum seekers indefinitely prior to deportation requires urgent Government policy amendment.

The full bench of the Federal Court ruled that the detention of asylum seekers who have exhausted their refugee claims, but could not return home, is unconstitutional.

"This ruling has created a significant policy problem for Federal Parliament," said PolMin. "There is no policy to cater for asylum seekers who cannot be deported to their country of origin or to another country."

"Social justice demands Federal Parliament act and develop new policy to assist the children, women, and men who find themselves in this situation," said PolMin.

PolMin Coordinator James McGillicuddy said PolMin's Community Guardianship Policy would address problems created by yesterday's judgment.

"PolMin's Policy entails the stateless asylum seeker being released into the care of a Community Guardian," he said. "A Community Guardian would be a person or a group (such as a Religious Congregation or Community) accredited by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs."

Mr McGillicuddy said PolMin would welcome the opportunity to work with the Federal Parliament to develop and implement its Community Guardianship Policy proposal,

The Australian Political Ministry Network Ltd (PolMin) is a national independent membership organisation committed social change through influencing of public policy in accordance with the principles of Catholic social teaching.


Court deals new rebuff to asylum seeker policy (16/4/03)

16 Apr 2003