Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Rudd’s PNG plan unlikely to comply with international law

The new asylum seeker arrangement between Australia and Papua New Guinea is almost certain not to comply with Australia’s international law obligations. In favour of the Australian government’s legal position…

A legal challenge may loom to the Australia-PNG regional resettlement arrangement for asylum seeker arrivals if it does not meet our international law obligations. AAP/Dan Peled

The new asylum seeker arrangement between Australia and Papua New Guinea is almost certain not to comply with Australia’s international law obligations.

In favour of the Australian government’s legal position, the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees does not expressly prohibit the offshore processing or resettlement overseas of people who initially seek asylum in Australia. At most, processing and settlement onshore in Australia is internationally expected (including so that we do not burden poor neighbours), but is not legally required.

Australia’s core obligation under the convention is not to return any person to a place where they are at risk of persecution. The government would argue that transfer to PNG does not amount to return to persecution in the refugee’s home country. If the processes on PNG work as they should, there is also no undue risk of return to persecution from PNG, so Australia is not legally responsible for “chain returning” asylum seekers through PNG.

But there are at least five major legal problems with the arrangement. Australia is likely to violate its obligation under Article 31 of the refugee convention not to penalise an asylum seeker on account of his or her “illegal” mode of entry to Australia. Only asylum seekers arriving by boat, not plane, will go to PNG. The former are thus subject to unjustified adverse differential treatment, partly because the government wishes to “deter” further arrivals.

Asylum seekers will also be mandatorily detained for protracted periods in PNG, and this is the clearest possible contravention of international human rights law. The conditions in detention are also unlikely to meet minimum international standards on the quality of detention facilities and services, and the treatment of detainees, as a recent UNHCR report on the facilities at Manus Island shows. Both Australia and PNG bear separate legal responsibility for their respective contributions in formulating and implementing the illegal detention regime.

Further, the quality of the refugee status determination processes in PNG is likely to be very poor and not in conformity with international standards. PNG officials lack the necessary expertise and capacity, and Australia is unlikely to be able to improve the situation in time. Bad decisions inevitably lead to the rejection of refugee claims and expose refugees to return to persecution. If that happens, Australia will bear legal responsibility alongside PNG for failing to ensure the necessary procedures to prevent return to persecution.

Finally, those recognised as refugees and settled in PNG are highly unlikely to enjoy all of the human rights owed to them under the refugee convention. Violence, including sexual violence, is endemic in PNG, so refugees will not be physically safe, despite the billions of dollars of Australian aid money pouring into law enforcement in PNG in recent years.

In addition, basic rights to health care, education, work, social security and an adequate standard of living are also highly unlikely to be sufficiently protected, given the chronic poverty in PNG and the lack of capacity of the PNG government. If such rights are guaranteed to refugees, that will create a different problem: PNG citizens will wonder why refugees are getting a better deal than them.

There are also real questions whether the arrangement meets Australia’s domestic law requirements for transferring asylum seekers abroad. If the “Malaysia Solution” case is indicative, the Australian High Court is unlikely to view the PNG arrangement as satisfactory.

What matters is not whether PNG is a party to the refugee convention, but whether refugee protection is effective in PNG. In my view, it is not. But a legal challenge is unlikely to happen before the election.

Join the conversation

146 Comments sorted by

Comments on this article are now closed.

  1. David Thompson

    Marketing Research

    "There are also real questions whether the arrangement meets Australia’s domestic law requirements for transferring asylum seekers abroad. If the “Malaysia Solution” case is indicative, the Australian High Court is unlikely to view the PNG arrangement as satisfactory."
    This is simply a matter of amending The Migration Act. Let us hope that Mark Dreyfus is much more competent than Nicola Roxon was!

    report
  2. Comment removed by moderator.

  3. Tony Martin

    Mr

    Before this comments section descends into the sort of useless and impolite exchange of slogans which is happening so frequently regarding this subject, can I ask a question of the legal people contributing?
    Once a person arrives as a refugee, either onshore or offshore, under what legal provisions related to place of abode or rights to support and sustenance do they live? Do they under Australian Law, or International law, have rights equivalent to citizens or long term residents?
    I arrived…

    Read more
    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Tony Martin

      Tony - When you arrived where you a refugee (as in meeting the criteria for being under threat in your original country) or where you legal migrants coming here for a better life after the destruction of much of Europe?

      If you came here as a migrant then obviously the terms of your accepting this can be different from what is allowable or appropriate for a refugee.

      I was amused in the other thread that there was a comment that the refugees where just coming to live a life of luxury on welfare, and when I asked for the evidence the newspaper opinion article said that after 4 years in Australia about 75% of refugees were in full time employment. I thought that figure not too bad.

      report
    2. Sam Han

      Lawyer; LLM student

      In reply to Tony Martin

      Tony,

      In answer to your question, "[Under] what legal provisions related to place of abode or rights to support and sustenance do they live?", the most practical answer is our domestic law. Ideally, that domestic law would be in compliance with our international law obligations (eg. the UN Refugee Convention).

      Bear in mind that 1949 was a long time ago. In fact, the UN Refugee Convention didn't exist back then. Our domestic laws regarding employment have changed considerably in that time-frame…

      Read more
    3. Tony Martin

      Mr

      In reply to Sam Han

      MWH & Sam
      Yes, technically we were migrants, and those who were "displaced persons" had in fact been granted "asylum" and thus had become migrants.
      My thoughts are that if in fact a similar process was put in place as soon as (and preferably quickly) security and health checks were concluded that refugees arriving by both boat or plane were placed under similar obligations to our cohort the whole attitude towards them would change.
      Such a situation would pull the rug from under the shock jock and tabloid stories. It would move the refugees themselves to much more diverse locations, and to areas where they would be contributing to the economy, and would speed up integration.
      If we are giving people the "right to asylum" surely we should expect them to become as quickly as possible contributing and integrated members of our society.
      And that way they could enjoy the great life this country has given to me over the past 64 years.

      report
    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Tony Martin

      Those asylum seekers in the community awaiting final assessment would love to work, and most people think they should be allowed to, so we can start people contribution to the economy even before they are fully assessed.

      report
    5. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Tony Martin

      Yes Tomy, there were work assignment arrangements for some refugees arriving from Europe post WW2 and you would need to look up what legislation was passed post WW2 to determine details of the arrangements though in general if you have a look at http://dl.nfsa.gov.au/module/1599/ you will see a reference to Bonegilla and in particular
      " Displaced Persons and other non-British migrants were subject to tighter labour arrangements and different controlling activities. Voluntary and refugee migrants…

      Read more
    6. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Tony Martin

      Law is applied to a set of facts. Most of the refugees who come here and claim refugee or asylum travel to transit countries with proper travel documents. When they are here they want interpreters, doctors and lawyers etc.. These crooks who comes here come with stories that fit in to the laws and conventions.

      report
    7. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Tony Martin

      Technically we are refugees and asylum seekers. The natives of the country (they never existed) are the displaced. Soon we will be the displaced if we do not control who come here.

      report
    8. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Dalit Prawasi

      Jees Dalit one could almost take you for an Australian coloniser with that attitude. So what you're saying is that we are being overrun by an invader?

      "Technically we are refugees and asylum seekers."

      Technically that is incorrect. Boat people perhaps pertaining to the original invaders of Australia but then they came with guns with the intent to steal now they go to other peoples countries with guns with the intent to kill and maim. All we are seeing now is the overflow from far away battle fields. You're engaging with the most base form of fear mongering by saying that a tiny minority of people could invade this country and displace its inhabitants. Keep in mind the British had guns, the indigenous people had nothing to fight back with. Whereas modern Australia has an army, police forces etc so even on this basis there is no chance of an invasion.

      report
    9. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      The number of non-violent invaders coming to Australia without the papers they used to come to the transit countries are increasing exponentially. The papers they used are sent back for other to use and follow. Please loo at the arrivals and talk to some sponsors ( not the so called smugglers) here.
      Indians in Fiji did not come with guns, they came under the cover of the British guns and see what they have done to the natives. Look at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, no Natives after four or five generations. Some of these few who exploit our laws and international conventions should be returned to their home land or the their roots. There are 40 million refugees and let us choose and be fair to all the refugees not the :"few" rouges.

      report
  4. Natasha turnbull

    Student

    Human right lawyers are the secondary victims in this new offshore processing policy - they will lose their clients and the incomes from endless appeals on Australian soil.

    It is absurd and purely academic to argue to follow a 60 years old UN convention. In my view, UN organizations are most ineffective and inefficient beauracratic bodies if corruption is a too harsh word for it.

    report
    1. Liam Hanlon
      Liam Hanlon is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Student

      In reply to Natasha turnbull

      Yeah following things 60 years old is silly...I mean its not like our laws have any basis in history whatsoever...you know that common law stuff is just so new.

      report
    2. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to Natasha turnbull

      Natasha, I am 60, should I be put down now dear? The universal common law in this democracy was laid down over 800 years ago, our constitution was laid down in 1901, the bible was supposedly written over 2,000 years ago.

      60 years is new dear.
      And if you are truly a student and this is your level of ignorance then god help my poor fella country.

      report
    3. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      Marilyn, there's a dear. Please do a quick flip through the laws of 2013, and tell us what % were also the laws of 60 years ago. Don't worry, if you can't count past ten. You won't need to.

      report
    4. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to Natasha turnbull

      And Natasha, the pro bono lawyers will be only too happy to stop fighting a government breaking the law and have a holiday from it all.

      They don't get paid, the only lawyers who get paid are the ones we pay for to help the government break the law and persecute innocent people.

      report
    5. Sam Han

      Lawyer; LLM student

      In reply to Natasha turnbull

      I've never heard of any human rights lawyer receiving payment from their refugee clients for their cases to court.

      In the real world, when private lawyers talk about doing "human rights law", they're usually talking about occasional side projects that they do for free, subsidised by income from their main (ie. not human rights) practice areas.

      report
    6. Sam Han

      Lawyer; LLM student

      In reply to Sam Han

      Ugh, typo!

      "for their cases to court" => "for taking their cases to court"

      report
    7. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to David Thompson

      Common law has not changed in the last 800 years unless the Magna Carta has been torn up without the world noticing.

      report
    8. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      What does it say about Australia when this so called debate is filled with so many examples of those from the right getting things wrong?

      This is Tea Party politics in action - repeat the wrong thing so many times that you hope that people start to believe the lies are true.

      What to rational people of the right, with whom I can agree to disagree on values, think about their side being represented by so many buffoons?

      report
    9. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      ROFL. The common law changes every time a superior court hands down a decision.

      report
    10. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      Seeing as you are so silly to take things totally out of context Marilyn, is it Alzhiemers settling in?

      report
    11. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      Laws evolve over the years and some are still the old baggage like some UN convention. Koran is younger than the Bible and the Ramayana is much older than the Bible. Anyway Kevin's PNG story is the latest.

      report
    12. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      There are pro bono stuff at Woolies and Coles, they are called promotions or advertising.

      report
    13. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Sam Han

      When they land here and claim asylum or refugee, if they can not hire a lawyer, the Immigration department provides legal aid lawyers and the cost is borne by taxpayers. The going rate is >$20k shop front lawyers and ethnic lawyers. Large law firms >$50k. The quotes that I got.

      report
    14. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      Marilyn,

      Magna Carta wasn't part of. or the basis of, the common law. It was instead more like a piece of legislation, whose provisions replace whatever the common law might have had to say on those topics. Its prime achievement was to confirm the Crown was subject to the law, rather than above it.

      As to it being ripped up, it was in force, in full, until the early part of the 19th century, but since then I believe there isn't a single provision which hasn't been either superseded or repealed in some way by subsequent legislation. So yes, Magna Carta has been ripped up. As has the Bill of Rights of 1689.

      report
    15. Natasha turnbull

      Student

      In reply to Sam Han

      How do Human Right Lawyers make a living if they don't receive payment from their clients? Maybe they are just charity workers , not professional lawyers.

      The truth is that the human Right lawyers do receive payments - from taxpayer-funded government funds. That is why they like to launch endless appeals on behalf of these asylum seekers to make money.

      I am glad that this new offshore policy will potentially put both people smugglers and Human Right lawyers out of business.

      A win for the long suffering taxpayers!

      report
    16. Sam Han

      Lawyer; LLM student

      In reply to Dalit Prawasi

      I was referring to "human rights lawyers" who Natasha accuses of running "endless appeals" for these asylum seekers. There are far easier ways to make money as a lawyer than to do human rights cases.

      The rates you quoted don't sound right. The typical cost of applying for protection visas is between $1000 to $5000, depending on skill and experience. The cost is similar for review matters to the RRT.

      The quotes sound more like appeals from the RRT to the Federal Circuit Court or the Federal…

      Read more
    17. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Natasha turnbull

      This is as stupid a comment as "how do the scientists know that CO2 warms the world?" Answer - find out the facts.

      Natasha - find out the facts about human rights lawyers - much of which is done for FREE because they care.

      report
    18. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      It is always difficult to digest truth when your beliefs are based on dreams. Kevin done the right thing and will crooks who mislead the bleeding hearts and arrive here.
      Let us choose refugees from the 40 million.

      report
    19. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Sam Han

      Can you please give me the contacts for these lawyers and their organizations. I will get them some work. Do you know how much they charge to write a letter to the Immi Dept or an appeal to the Hon Minister of Immigration in Australia. It will be to the Hon Minister of Immigration of PNG.

      report
    20. Natasha turnbull

      Student

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      You are either naive or are deliberately ignorant - these so called Human Right lawyers may not charge asylum seekers directly but they charge the government, naming Legal Aid, for the services they do for the asylum seekers.

      What more I have to say to make you understand?

      report
    21. Sam Han

      Lawyer; LLM student

      In reply to Natasha turnbull

      Natasha,

      You ask: "How do Human Rights Lawyers make a living..."

      Lawyers who profess to do "human rights law" typically belong to one of three categories:
      1. They work as solicitors in community legal centres - either as paid solicitors or volunteers on a casual or part-time roster;
      2. They work in the government or an NGO; or
      3. Their main private practice is in another field of law (eg. administrative, criminal, family law, etc), but they take on human rights matters on odd occasions…

      Read more
    22. Sam Han

      Lawyer; LLM student

      In reply to Natasha turnbull

      Forgot to add:

      The new offshore policy will also be a hit to the taxpayers, as the PNG will not be receiving the asylum seekers for free. I'm interested to know how much funding Australia will give to PNG for this.

      And by the way, I'm not opposed to the new policy. I wish there was a more humane way to deal with the issue, but can't really think of a better and politically realistic solution. The new policy seems to be a less evil solution than the tow-back, at least.

      report
    23. Natasha turnbull

      Student

      In reply to Sam Han

      Mr Sam Han,

      Have you heard about David Mann? Enough said.

      report
    24. In reply to Grant Mahy

      Comment removed by moderator.

    25. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/02key.htm

      According to 2010-11 immigration statistics Kiwi's are number 1 (25 772) but they are mostly white so all good yeah?:-) Oh and unlike all other immigrants they can't get welfare (the Aussies actually just denied citizenship to Russel Crowe even though he's been here since 1968).

      Then Chinese (14 611), then Brits (10 944), then India (10 566). Pacific Islanders don't feature at all in the top 9 - nor do they feature between 2000 -01 in the big scheme of things.

      report
    26. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      So David you perhaps know as much about immigration statistics as you know about law. My point is though England is safe, India -well safe enough albeit grossly overpopulated - so there's over 21,000 asylum seeker placers. As Dalit says Australia doesn't want economic refugees. Indians have the wrong religion, they don't assimilate well and we may be overrun based on Dalit's views. We can also free up more places by stopping the boats from NZ and China giving us a total of about 65,000 places for those who desperately need safe haven.

      report
    27. Chris Watson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I can't vote Green because the Greens aren't green. If they were, their priority would be the stabilisation of Australia's population and that of the world.
      A green Green party would resettle no asylum seekers at all. It might offer temporary protection visas, but it would actively discriminate against the members of large families in order to avoid rewarding the selfish and irresponsible breeding that is the cause of the poverty and conflict in the world.

      report
    28. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris Watson

      Chris - you are factually wrong.

      The major environmental challenge is climate change. In 15 years if we keep going as expected we will have emitted enough carbon to give us an 80% chance of warming of 2 degrees. So 2 degree warming is now the minimum that we can expect, and though Rudd promised that he was saving the Great Barrier Reef for our grandchildren the science makes clear that at 2 degree warming, plus with the continued water pollution problems, the reef is doomed.

      We must now act…

      Read more
  5. Sean Lamb

    Science Denier

    In might be worth quoting Article 31 since it is being given a meaning it does not contain:

    "1. The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their
    illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory
    where their life or freedom was threatened in the sense of Article1, enter or
    are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present
    themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their
    illegal entry or presence…

    Read more
  6. Steve Phillips

    Nurse Practitioner

    I have no issue with Kev getting tough with illegals, however this smacks of another 'policy on the run' that Kevin was renowned for the last time. Ill concieved, quite possibly illegal and dougtless very very expensive to you and I.
    Ask yourselves, who are the recipients of Kevin's largess? The Papuan govt where if history is to be believed most of it will find it's way to private bank accounts offshore. The lawyers who are going to have a field day with the laws of 2 countries and the UN agreements.
    As one commentator has noted, sending the refugees even if genuine to PNG is like a millionaire with a mansion asking his poverty stricken neighbor to house a bunch of homeless people who have rocked up uninvited.

    report
    1. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      There is no such thing as an illegal human being. Why do you have to use such vile and abusive language about people just like you?

      There is no offence in Australia for arriving or staying without a visa, Burke and Rudd cannot make it an offence by decree or statement. If they want to now make it an offence in breach of the refugee convention and many other human rights instruments they have to legislate and impose penalties that would then be illegal.

      report
    2. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      Balderdash Marilyn. Before 1994, they were called "illegal entrants". Now they are called "Unlawful non-citizens".
      I hope this helps.

      report
    3. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      "I have no issue with Kev getting tough with illegals, however this smacks of another 'policy on the run' that Kevin was renowned for the last time."
      Steve, I think it is more likely that Kev has had a lot of time to think and observe the evolution of this issue during his stint on the back bench. I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt: As Keynes said, "when the facts change, I change my mind. Why, what do you do, sir?"

      report
    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      Thanks for being the first to point out that corruption in PNG is an important consideration in this debate.

      report
    5. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Thompson

      The spin of the politicians and its repetition by an incompetent media don't make it so.

      Since Menzies signed the Refugee Convention it has been legal to enter Australia without a visa for the purposes of seeking asylum.

      If you no so little about this issue could you please do us all a favor and do some research before you post again.

      report
    6. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Thompson

      er David, the relevant treaty is the UN's Refugee Convention, which is why Kevin Rudd has suggested going to the UN to change it.

      report
    7. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      Many in our parliament are millionaires and they are doing precisely that from their ivory towers of racist ignorance,

      report
    8. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to David Thompson

      The word unlawful does not mean anything at all.

      report
    9. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      "The word unlawful does not mean anything at all."
      Ladies and Gentleman, the "International Law" Luvvies rest their case.

      report
    10. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "Thanks for being the first to point out that corruption in PNG is an important consideration in this debate."
      Michael, what are you saying? That being a signatory to the Refugee Convention is meaningless? Ergo, the Refugee Convention holds no great significance morally, politically, or legally?

      report
    11. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Thompson

      The right's failure to comprehend is astounding. I would be embarrassed talking to a child that was this dim.

      Part of Rudd's deal is huge amounts of Australian money will be channeled into PNG.

      The original comment was "Ask yourselves, who are the recipients of Kevin's largess? The Papuan govt where if history is to be believed most of it will find it's way to private bank accounts offshore."

      So my concern is that, like has happened in Afganistan, much money paid by Australia for the good of the PNG people will be 'diverted' into the pockets of the powerful.

      Now what any of this has to do with PNG being a signatory to the Refugee Convention is beyond me.

      report
    12. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      " There is no offence in Australia for arriving or staying without a visa, Burke and Rudd cannot make it an offence by decree or statement. If they want to now make it an offence in breach of the refugee convention and many other human rights instruments they have to legislate and impose penalties that would then be illegal. "
      Utter tripe Marilyn and you need to have a look at Immigration regulations based on legislation.
      Also have a re-read of
      " But there are at least five major legal problems with the arrangement. Australia is likely to violate its obligation under Article 31 of the refugee convention not to penalise an asylum seeker on account of his or her “illegal” mode of entry to Australia. "
      You do serve up some trash.

      report
    13. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      " er David, the relevant treaty is the UN's Refugee Convention, which is why Kevin Rudd has suggested going to the UN to change it. "
      Wrong again Michael for whilst The Migration Act makes reference to the UN Convention, Australian Law is the law in Australia as determined by various Acts legislated.
      Kevin Rudd is just making his usual big noting noises about changing the convention and he has two chances.

      report
    14. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg North

      "You do serve up some trash." Yes indeed Greg you do. How many times do we need to explain to you about the difference between international and national law?

      report
    15. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      As I understand it, and I am not trying to argue on this specific issue, I sincerely am looking for clarification, under international law a person is a refugee when they are seeking or have achieved 'a place of safety'.

      A place of safety being a place where they are no longer in any reasonable fear of violence or other persecution.

      However, to retain that classification they must remain in the first such place of safety they reach. If they leave, looking for somewhere better, they abandon that refugee status and may then be classified as economic migrants.

      Now, Indonesia is a place of safety, so under international law all of those who come by boat from there may properly be denied refugee status, even if doing so is politically fraught.

      Does anyone have any idea how true this is?

      report
    16. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      " Does anyone have any idea how true this is? "
      People can still claim asylum Chris once they're in Australia though entering Australia to do so without a visa could in theory be considered a breach of our Immigration laws a waiver exists in accordance with the UN Convention declaration
      " A refugee has the right to be free from penalties pertaining to the illegality of their entry to or presence within a country, if it can be shown that they acted in good faith- that is, if the refugee believes…

      Read more
    17. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      " Yes indeed Greg you do. How many times do we need to explain to you about the difference between international and national law? "
      You continually exceed yourself Grant and it is not about differences in international and national law but what international laws or conventions are and what of that is not only recognised under Australian law but referred to in Australian Law.

      report
    18. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg the point being that International Law and Australian Immigration Law differ. So legally Australia can deny entry to asylum seekers under national law but not under international law. The Convention is very clear on the law surrounding asylum seekers and Australia is a party to the Convention. Therein lies the conflict.

      report
  7. David Thompson

    Marketing Research

    As I have predicted for some time now, THE big political discourse in Australia from now will be "Withdraw from the Refugee Convention".

    report
    1. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      Yes Brilliant idea David. That'll work a treat for Australia. Sanctions anyone?

      report
    2. Peter Demonte

      logged in via email @mailinator.com

      In reply to David Thompson

      This is the elephant. While it's interesting for the author to note the potential contraventions of law with the PNG solution, the fact is that most Australians find the current situation with the UN convention intolerable. A more interesting debate will be how to address the glaring mismatch between 'the law' and what the people being governed actually want. It's a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless that a punitive approach to refugees arriving outside the UN camp system is the only way to stop the…

      Read more
  8. Minh-Quan Nguyen

    Student, University of Melbourne

    "If the 'Malaysia Solution' case is indicative, the Australian High Court is unlikely to view the PNG arrangement as satisfactory."

    I don't see the Malaysia case as being "indicative" of the validity (in domestic law) of the PNG arrangement.

    By the joint judgment, the Malaysia Solution was struck down on the basis that any country subject to a ministerial declaration under s 198A(3)(a) of the Migration Act needed to satisfy the criteria regarding access and protection as a matter of international…

    Read more
    1. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Minh-Quan Nguyen

      Exactly. The failure of the Malaysia Solution was about the executive exceeding the power granted it under The Migration Act. All Rudd needs to do is make sure that Mark Dreyfus is smarter and more capable than Roxon in drafting the amendments.

      report
    2. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to David Thompson

      But the high court and our constitution do no allow the executive to make extrajudicial punishments.

      report
    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      Who other than you Marilyn is talking about extrajudicial punishments?
      As David has pointed out, if Kevin wants his deal to not be thrown out he will need to make sure it is in accordance with existing legislation or have the legislation ammended accordingly.

      report
  9. Andrew Bartlett

    logged in via Facebook

    Those are all good points Ben. But surely Australia is already breaching our international obligations in all the ways you point out, apart perhaps from the final one?

    We already discriminate against and punish those who arrive by boat rather than plane. We already detain people for prolonged and indeterminate periods. We already detain them in inadequate conditions. The quality of our refugee determination process is likely to already be pretty dodgy in regards to Nauru (as it was under John…

    Read more
    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Andrew Bartlett

      I suppose it'll depend on who the assessor would be as to how far we are breaching our international obligations already Andrew and that it is happening in many parts of the planet would seem to underline that something needs to be done internationally.
      As for discrimination, I agree that people arriving by plane ought to also be shown the way to a refugee camp to await their turn.
      There is far too much finessing over legal points on the rights of asylum seekers as against refugees be dammed and…

      Read more
  10. David Thompson

    Marketing Research

    One wonders if Professor Saul is penning a letter to PNG on their "international obligations" as signatories to the Refugee Convention? I will bet not.

    report
    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Thompson

      As Professor Saul does not think that the PNG deal will be legal, the deal may be dead in the water before it happens.

      Thus penning a letter to PNG would be a waste of time.

      report
    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      There is a thing called legislation Michael and if a government and major opposition support appropriate legislation to be passed, then any action pertaining to that becomes legal.

      report
    3. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      Legal does not equal moral.

      The right seem to think, and you see this again and again, that if the majority support something then it is right and moral.

      And the big question has nothing to do the Greg North - the big question is what will those who think the PNG solution is wrong do about it? Vote Labor to show support for this?

      I urge those who care to vote Green and send a strong message to both major parties that their policies on asylum seekers are wrong.

      report
    4. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      " And the big question has nothing to do the Greg North - the big question is what will those who think the PNG solution is wrong do about it? Vote Labor to show support for this? "
      You seem to have your own language at times Michael and then you ask a question and seem to propose a possible answer that would seem to support what you suggest should be questioned!
      Like if Labor have a solution that people would think is wrong, you suggest they may show support for it by voting Labor!, just weird Michael but then you did get 75$ from 25%!
      Vote Green!, with preferences?

      report
    5. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg,

      Most people who:
      want real action on climate change (not just spin)
      want public transport funded instead of roads
      want coal gas fracking brought under control or stopped
      want coal exports stopped
      want to protect the Great Barrier Reef from being destroyed by water runoff
      want to protect the Great Barrier Reef from huge port expansion and dredging
      want a mining tax which raises money
      support gay marriage
      think our troops shouldn't have been in Afghanistan (and thus the deaths of…

      Read more
    6. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      You are kind of defeating your own purpose Michael
      " Next time you see a survey on any of the above issues you will see that community support for that issue is far far greater than the about 10% support that the Greens get. "
      I'll leave you to work out why the Greens will be lucky to again get 10%

      " Of course those who are against most of the things I've listed above should vote Labor or Liberal. "
      You have given yourself a little hint there and what's more, you do need to realise that a wish list does not sound government make.

      report
    7. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg North

      Yes but Greg that 10% will come from traditional labour voters which will prove to be Labour's downfall where they look to lose anyway. So at one point they may have had a chance - now the Libs will get in and hopefully the Greens will get enough votes to give them some say.

      report
    8. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      A recent survey showed that 63% of people think that asylum seekers in the community should have the right to work.

      Recent Lowy Institute research shows that 22% are strongly against off-shore processing, and 13% are somewhat against.

      So on these issues, if people voted for the party who shared their view, then the Greens vote would increase significantly.

      report
    9. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      More importantly the xenophobe vote is at 41%. My guess is the Greens may have picked up 15% of traditional Labour voters - that'll be more than enough. Krudd really has committed political suicide, which is what he deserves. He has made the mistake of thinking this is 2001 which fails to see that Howard broke even on his handling of the Tampa and only got ahead after terrorists struck the twin towers. Further, the cultural conditions today are very different in that Howard had time to brain wash the masses with years in government and racist rhetoric. It sort of staggers me what a moron Krudd is.

      report
    10. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Remember that so far the only progressive opinion leader who has made clear his (or her) support for the Greens is Malcolm Fraser.

      Though most Green's voters put Labor 2nd, about 20% are small 'l' liberals who deplore where their party has gone and thus vote 1 Green, 2 Liberal.

      report
    11. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      My hope is that Rudd's leap to the right here helps caring voters to recognise Labor's many other failures.

      The long list of policies and actions I wrote in a post found by searching for
      public transport funded
      provides many more reasons for saying that Labor is now a party of the right (and in some cases the extreme right) and thus the only sensible vote for those who care is 1 Green.

      report
    12. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I agree with that one. The reality is I expect the Libs will win and the Greens will get a few more seats while Labour will be relegated to where they belong for this cynical attempt to win votes. Either way, Labour or Liberal is pretty much the same thing these days so instead of having a racist Labour party Australia will have a racist Liberal party.

      report
    13. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      http://greens.org.au/policies/immigration-refugees

      Yep look at that. The Greens advocate respecting international law and add - "Australia has additional responsibilities to refugees from countries where Australian defence personnel have been deployed in conflict situations."

      Michael certainly we'll be out on the streets this week with groups such as Amnesty lobbying Australians to vote Green. Make a stand Australia. Let's tell the world that we're not all a pack of red necked mean spirited scum bags.

      report
    14. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant - Where Amnesty fail is that rather than trying to get people to vote for what they believe, they get people to tell their Labor (or Liberal candidate) that they want that party to do better.

      With both human rights and climate change that strategy - of mainly trying to get Labor to do better - has very clearly failed.

      Where the Greens have failed is that they never provide the facts to back up their policy nor show people just how bad Labor are. That the Greens don't do this leaves people…

      Read more
    15. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      My fantasy is that the Greens get 30% of the vote, and Labor win enough votes that combined with most Green voters preferencing them they can form a minority government.

      Puts Labor firmly in their place yet doesn't lead to Abbott.

      report
    16. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Possibly Michael although I am meeting with an Amnesty group on Tuesday so it will be interesting to see what position they take here. After years of watching Labour go further to the right on this issue this might be a catalyst to advocating to vote for a party with humane asylum seeker policy. We'll see.

      "Did you know that Australia takes fewer refugees than any other western country other than the USA?"

      Yes. But then again the US and Somalia are the only two countries that refused to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The US isn't big on human rights. They've even created the Hague Invasion act to make themselves immune from being tried on war crimes.

      Do most people know that Australia is now the third biggest recipient of our foreign aid. Yep!

      report
    17. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      No won't happen. Abbott will win. Krudd has distanced himself from the left vote - that simply displaces the numbers from Labour to the Greens. The Liberal voters will still vote Liberal and Liberal based on the polls looks set to win. It'll be an interesting few weeks in politics to see where the polls now go. I suspect some that were voting Lib will now swing towards Labour but not enough.

      report
    18. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      If you have ever been polled and put much store in poll results, that'll be one part of the explanation of your views.
      " So on these issues, if people voted for the party who shared their view, then the Greens vote would increase significantly. "
      You're nearly getting there Michael and perhaps you could ask yourself what is it that is occurring when the Greens vote does not increase significantly.

      report
    19. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Even if my wildest Green fantasies come true, in most seats the 1 Labor vote will still be greater than the 1 Green vote.

      So all the 1 Green votes will be picked up, and preferences will be distributed, with each Green vote going onto either the Labor or the Liberal pile.

      Despite everything Labor have done, I'm still sure that about 80% or more of the Green votes will go into the Labor pile.

      So voting 1 Green, 2 Labor does nothing to further Abbott wining.

      I think Rudd will win back some votes that had gone to Abbott under Gillard, so Rudd is, for the moment, in with a very good chance to win.

      report
    20. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      A very biased media for one.

      For example, since May 1 the Melbourne ABC 7pm TV news has only had the federal Greens be a quick talking head 8 times.

      Nick Zenophon has been on 6 times, so to the ABC the Greens are almost as irrelevant as Zenophon.

      Now I'm sure you will think that the Greens are irrelevant, but to most people who care I'm sure that this lack of coverage would be a surprise, and it shows how the media is creating a distorted view of politics.

      report
    21. Chris Watson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Voting Green is voting for an increase in the number of voters who support the marriage of prepubescent girls, slavery and wife-beating. A vote for the Greens is a vote for a woman's legal testimony being given half the value of the testimony of the man charges with attacking her.
      This is because a large proportion of the current batch of asylum seekers are Muslim males. These men are asking Australia for a freedom and security that, by their choice of religion, they deny their own mothers, wives and daughters.
      People vote according to what they believe is right and just. Democracy is a numbers game. We should be very careful to whom we allow to share the task of choosing our lawmakers.

      report
    22. Chris Watson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "that Australia is now the third biggest recipient of our foreign aid." What rubbish! Asylum seekers are foreigners, not Australian. Any money supporting them is foreign aid, not aid to Australia.

      report
    23. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Chris Watson

      Voting for Abbott is dangerous because he is really from planet Zorg and if he wins then we will be invaded by Zorgians and turned into pet food for their little green cat like creatures that run around going "icky thump, icky thump, icky thump"

      I think this makes about as much sense as what Chris said.

      report
  11. Dalit Prawasi

    Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

    I have commented in this forum about changing refugee convention as most of the people who come here and claim refugee or asylum are exploiting international conventions and our local laws. At last Kevin has found the perfect solution. This policy will reduce the turnover of the human rights business and the huge incomes of the human rights entrepreneurs and do good and bleeding heart organizations. I hope Kevin will take in refugees from elsewhere as there are over 40 millio0n refugees at the moment. I would like to see we let Afghans and Iraqis to stay until we fix their problems.

    report
    1. Chris Watson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dalit Prawasi

      What on earth is the point of resettling Afghans in Australia if those remaining in Afghanistan just breed more Afghans? Afghanistan has 30 million people already yet it still has one of the world's highest birth rates.

      When all the agricultural land is used up and there are more people than there are jobs, there are only three choices: a) live in life-threatening poverty, b) leave, c) force others to leave. This last is 'persecution'.
      Refugees aren't fleeing intolerance. They are fleeing overpopulation…

      Read more
    2. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Chris Watson

      "Refugees aren't fleeing intolerance. They are fleeing overpopulation."

      No they're fleeing bullets and bombs actually.

      "No one should resettle asylum seekers. Their parents are the cause of the conflict in their own countries."

      Actually well no Chris if we look at history we can see your parents (ancestors) are responsible. Note Afghanistan and the Brits, the Russians and now US.

      "I bitterly resent"

      Yes we can see that. Maybe speaking to it about to someone may help.

      report
    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      You ought to know Grant that Aussies downunder really give two and perhaps many more hoots about what is being thought about us internationally.
      Exception might be Kevin who will no doubt be parading himself internationally in an attempt to create the right imagery for himself.
      What will be interesting will be his Jhyll and Hyde show.

      report
    2. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Most people are lucky to know what is going on in their own country, let alone internationally unless it is the activities of starlets and their latest boyfriends.

      report
  12. G. H. Schorel-Hlavka

    logged in via Twitter

    As a CONSTITUTIONALIST I hold that the Commonwealth of Australia is erntitled to enforce its constitutional rights to determine who shall be admitted to Australia. While International Law may apply in certain circumstances (as the Board of Inqyuiry held regarding the Titanic) it can however never override our constitutional rights. indeed, the Framers of the Constitution made clear:
    .
    Hansard 17-4-1897 Constitution Convention Debates
    QUOTE Mr. SYMON:
    There can be no doubt as to the position…

    Read more
  13. G. H. Schorel-Hlavka

    logged in via Twitter

    For those so called bleeding hearts about refugees, they should understand that with about 15,600 so called refugees arriving in Australia another about 1,000 were reported to have drowned on their way to Australia! So, before you are claiming to consider humanity consider the death toll!
    As I have set out for many years, we should first care for the proverbial widow with 5 children sitting for years in a refugee camp waiting to be allowed to settle in Australia, with her children learning English…

    Read more
    1. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to G. H. Schorel-Hlavka

      Mr Schoral-Hlavka once again you should perhaps work on your opening statement... I.e. As a CONSTITUTIONALIST I hold that the Commonwealth of Australia is erntitled to enforce its constitutional rights to determine who shall be admitted to Australia.

      Typos and factual errors never go down well - as for being a CONSTITUTIONALIST no need to shout that from the roof top. We're (bleeding hearts) are up here mate. Anyhow, what you fail to see with "about 1,000 were reported to have drowned on their…

      Read more
    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      You seem to miss the very points you raise Grant, there being numerous tragic circumstances where young malnourished children and babies are dying.
      If more aid could be directed at helping to solve those difficulties then surely that would be more humane than spending multiple times the aid cost of dealing with what are mostly reasonably fit looking young men who want to force their way into Australia.
      The current government has even shifted hundreds of millions$$$ from the international aid budget to the costs associated with the people smuggling racket just so most people who get allowed to stay here go on to welfare.
      You can have your view on how international aid and welfare should occur and there are many more who will likely have an opposite view.

      report
  14. Philip Dowling

    IT teacher

    To say that violence is endemic in PNG, ignores the reality that many asylum seekers ultimately live in South West Sydney an area notorious for drive-by shootings, and knee cappings. It also has been revealed that NSW politicians have been engaged in massive corruption over many years in conjunction with others. Sydney is also one of the most expensive cities of the world in which to live.
    Perhaps PNG is better than south-west Sydney.

    report
    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      I would reckon a few weeks holidaying up in PNG might help you to firm up on your views Philip.

      report
    2. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Phillip that is a rediculous thing to say. The shootings are OMCG related so unless they patch up safe to say they're unlikely to be shot. Safe also to say, that given where they come from a bikie is a lightweight and wouldn't last a minute in eg Afghanistan.

      "Perhaps PNG is better than south-west Sydney."

      Go there for a bit and then tell us this. Perhaps speak to some of the Aussie army boys who were sent there to keep the peace.

      report
    3. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      1. I did spend some time in Papua New Guinea some years ago.
      2. Shootings in South-west Sydney are not all OMGC related. Just ask the people who worship in the Hindu mosque in Auburn.
      3. So Australian army was sent to pacify Papua New Guinea in general. An interesting claim to make. Or perhaps it was a certain section much like the Australian army was sent to parts of the Northern Territory.
      It amuses me that so many are prepared to make such sweeping generalizations.
      So no refugees to Australia have met with violent deaths?

      report
    4. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Oh sorry Philip looks like my generalisation was a tad out.

      "It’s not just well organised bikie gangs to blame, but a range of criminals and business rivals, all with access to guns. They are escalating, rather than settling, all manner of disputes by targeted shootings... Criminals are reacting to the lack of enforcement, the lack of police in key target suburbs, and what appears to be a lack of political will by the State Government to really take on the issue of gun crime and criminal gang activity." https://theconversation.com/if-police-and-government-cant-control-sydney-gun-crime-local-communities-must-6594

      Yeah so unless the refugees become criminals and step on other criminals toes safe to say my generalisation is pretty good. Agh yeah, and if refugees become criminals well just like all criminals they will just have to take their chances.

      report
  15. Stephen Ralph

    carer

    In reference to Article 31 - I would imagine the number of "illegal"/refugees arriving by boat would far outnumber those arriving by plane. Thus it could be argued that there would be special circumstances that needed to apply to boat arrivals.

    Also in terms of time in detention - aren't many boat people held for long periods of time as it is. I hear two years or more in many circumstances. So are we already breaking the convention, and does it matter if it's here or in PNG.

    Is PNG on the UN HUman Rights watch...or is this just an assumption?

    In one sense the domestic situation in PNG seems a moot point, more an opinion than a legal argument.

    report
    1. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Actually Stephen far more arrive by plane.

      "Is PNG on the UN HUman Rights watch...or is this just an assumption?"

      "One year after the United Nations special rapporteur on torture released a report on PNG, the government has failed to adequately respond to his recommendations. Police and security forces continue to commit abuses with impunity. Violence against women is rampant.

      Human Rights Watch has previously documented widespread abuse by PNG’s police, including use of excessive force against demonstrators, torture, and sexual violence, including against children.

      Corruption remains a serious problem in PNG. In October, Task Force Sweep, the government-appointed team tasked with investigating institutional graft, estimated that close to 3.8 billion PNG Kina (US$1.7 billion) from the country’s budget was lost due to corruption between 2009 and 2011." etc

      http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/papua-new-guinea

      report
    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      The ratio of boat arrivals to plane arrivals does vary Grant, it likely that in past years there have been more air arrivals than by boat but right now it is about equal and swinging the other way.
      " In 2011-12 14,415 people applied for a visa under the onshore program. Half of them (7,041) was granted asylum.

      Almost half of the 14,415 people who applied for a visa under the onshore component had arrived in Australia by plane (7,036), while 7,379 had arrived by boat.

      Under the onshore component, most visas went to people who arrived by boat (4,766), an increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, 2,272 visas were granted to people who arrived by plane. "
      It has always been the case that claims for asylum by plane arrivals are more likely to be rejected.

      report
    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      A great quote from Rudd, but your conclusions don't make sense.

      I agree that population is a long term issue of great importance.

      But population control does nothing to say what we should do to handle the refugee situation for the next decade.

      (And as we need to act on climate change urgently, population control has nothing to do with our urgent response to climate change).

      Given Rudd's quote, to me the Greens are the only party with any integrity left.

      report
    2. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      If we were worried about population we'd stop the Chinese and Indian immigration. Let's face it both countries are grossly over populated. Based on this we then must assume they will overpopulate Australia (post hoc ad hoc:-) http://www.theage.com.au/national/new-refugee-policy-is-legal-insists-labor-20130721-2qc4i.html

      Rudd is now trying to desperately tell deluded voters his policy is legal. Wonder what he is going to say when it is overturned in the courts and Australia is internationally condemned?

      Actually, just spoke to a friend and she was very easy to convince to vote Green based on the proposition that a vote for Labour supported racism and xenophobia and that Australians need to send a message to the world that Australian policy doesn't represent Australia.

      report
    3. Chris Watson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Xenophobia is the irrational fear of foreigners. That was Britain's problem in 1938, wasn't it? The British demonised Nazism because of their irrational fear of the foreign, and their racism. They should have been open to Nazi immigration and tolerant of Nazi beliefs, giving them the right to vote and participate in choosing Britain's lawmakers. They failed to appreciate that, by giving citizenship to Nazis, whose moral values were diametrically opposed to their own, they could diversify and enrich their own culture. Shame on them, the bigots! And the Nazis were even white!

      report
  16. John Smith

    logged in via email @gmail.com

    The Australian general public must be aware that the majority of these boat people who set sail into Australia aren't what they claim to be. Bob Carr is certainly correct to share his opinion on boat people being economic refugees.

    just look at this article from the daily mail
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2371311/Syrian-Zaatari-refugee-camp-home-160-000-Jordans-fifth-largest-city.html

    There's 160 000 of them stuck in a refugee camp in Jordan, and I highly doubt that they would have the financial resources to get on a boat ride like the ones who come to Australia.
    There are far more desperate refugees around the world than these self proclaimed persecuted boat people.

    Australia should only resettle UNHCR recognized refugees who have been waiting for years for resettlement.

    report
    1. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Smith

      John, old ground... we've gutted the "economic refugee" myth already. People sell everything they have to get on a boat - so would you if faced with years in the camp you've just linked an article to. Thanks for highlighting why refugees get on boats though.

      report
    2. John Smith

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      That's what you bleeding hearts / Pro Asylum Seekers reckon.
      There's 42 million displaced refugees world wide.
      How many can a country take?
      It is economically unsustainable for any host country to resettle all of them regardless.
      Maybe you should open up your home to these boat people for resettlement instead of trying to indoctrinate other people to share your opinion. I have a hunch you're an amnesty international supporter.
      The USA did the same thing to boat people from Cuba, South America.....coyotes were arrested...illegals repatriated to their home countries.
      Even Switzerland has tighten their asylum seeking rules for wannabe refugees. It's a trend, people are using human rights as a tool to get to where they want. It must be stopped.
      There are reasons countries have borders. The UN convention is outdated any ways. Post world war 2 circumstances do not suit present conditions. The world is not at war.

      report
    3. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to John Smith

      How about Australia taking something like the European average rather - even the UK takes 4.5 times as many as us.

      And only someone from the strange other reality that those from the right must inhabit could say "the world is not at war" when many of our asylum seekers come from Iraq and Afghanistan - two countries which WE invaded. And note that only 4 countries invaded Iraq - so we are rather responsible.

      report
    4. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Smith

      " I have a hunch you're an amnesty international supporter." Jesus man what gave me away? Hell yeah, I'm into human rights. You know those fringe lunatic bleeding hearts that actually give a damn beyond our own selfish and too often racist reasoning.

      John if a country doesn't want refugees they shouldn't create them. Notably it is the West that is creating them by the large both currently and historically. Consider it a case of the chickens coming home to roost.

      report
    5. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Smith

      "There's 42 million displaced refugees world wide."

      Actually John, there's over 45 million now. 2012 was a big year.

      "The world is not at war."

      Not if you live in Australia. Islam - now that's another thing. We have the American's and the Israelis to thank for that. Notably Australia is an ally. Time to pay up John. You can't create refugees and then deny them.

      report
    6. John Smith

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Oh yea.... and just so that you know.
      Geert Wilders has a point about Muslim refugees.
      He is not against Islam. Watch his videos on youtube carefully.

      Extreme muslims are incompatible with democratic countries.
      What kind of refugees threaten with murder when one simply raises a valid point about extreme muslims.

      The riot at Nauru is a clear example of this. When they don't get what they want, they start rioting and holding people hostage.
      Imagine what they will do when they get into Australian…

      Read more
    7. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Smith

      "Geert Wilders has a point about Muslim refugees.
      He is not against Islam. Watch his videos on youtube carefully."

      Haha - yeah he isn't against Islam. He's against anything that isn't Aryan.

      "One of the reasons anders breivik went rogue was because of uncontrolled muslim immigration into norway."

      Question: How many Norwegians have been killed by Muslims inside Norway versus how many did anders breivik kill in a single day.

      Answer: Base on your twisted logic Norwegians should be extradited from Norway to protect Norwegians.

      "And those 2 who beheaded lee rigby. September 11 and the london bomb blast....need i go further?"

      How many Muslims have Westerners killed. Let's start with 1.6 million in Iraq and you fill in the gaps. You sound like the bloody EDL with your paranoid rantings of devisionism and hate.

      report
    8. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to John Smith

      Are you implying that most muslims who come to Australia are extreme muslims? If so then you are very wrong.

      report
  17. Chris Watson

    logged in via Facebook

    "Australia is likely to violate its obligation under Article 31 of the refugee convention not to penalise an asylum seeker on account of his or her “illegal” mode of entry to Australia."
    The way to get around this problem, of course, is to send ALL asylum seekers to Manus Island. Even the ones coming by plane.

    If Papua New Guinea is good enough for the Papuans, it is good enough for asylum seekers.

    report
    1. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Chris Watson

      Nope Chris, already been there. Krudd's plan will be scuttled in the courts. Legally it can be challenged with extremely good basis on several points.

      report
    2. In reply to Grant Mahy

      Comment removed by moderator.

    3. In reply to John Smith

      Comment removed by moderator.

    4. In reply to Grant Mahy

      Comment removed by moderator.

    5. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Smith

      "Were you dropped on the floor as a baby which resulted in your baseless twisted comments?" Maybe - I'll ask my mother.

      "Last suggestion, you should consider doing something much more worthwhile / meaningful instead of trying to indoctrinate others who do not share your opinion."

      I'll be advised. Actually one has concluded no one here is likely to change their minds on the subject (it is very much a polarised debate with strong views either side) but one has also concluded that racist rants cannot go unanswered.

      report
    6. John Smith

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Ahhhh...the antiquated "you're racist" statement simply because one doesn't like what he is reading. And can't come up with a tactful response. You seriously need further education on this area.

      For your information, the majority of Australians aren't against refugees who come into Australia through the proper channel for resettlement per se(UNHCR recognized). In fact, many of them have become successful in Australia.

      Fact is we don't want unauthorized boat people coming into Australia when others are stuck hopeless at refugee camps waiting for years on end for resettlement.
      That is the general consensus.

      report
    7. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Smith

      "Ahhhh...the antiquated "you're racist" statement simply because one doesn't like what he is reading. And can't come up with a tactful response." Actually John, I couldn't really be bothered responding:-)

      report
  18. Tiffany Meek

    Graphic designer, psychology student

    I have just joined this site and I was hoping to enjoy the academic discussion. Unfortunately, so many of the members engage in character assassination it becomes impossible to engage in democratic, respectful conversation.

    One of the beautiful things about being an Australian is the fact that we live in a country where free speech is a right. The downside of this seems to be that some people use that right to attack and humiliate others who have differing viewpoints.

    This site needs moderators! And those who moderate need to expel those who cross lines of etiquette, so that those of us who enjoy a rip roaring bit of intellectual debate can get on with doing so in a way that is inclusive and in the best interests of all.

    report