The executive government in Australia has more power than most people realise, especially when it comes to immigration.
Under US law, the president must publish all of their executive orders for public view. The Australian government is under no such obligation.
The MV Tampa rescued 438 asylum seekers from a stricken boat in the waters between Indonesia and Australia.
The Tampa incident in 2001 has formed the underlying basis of the approach to asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia by boat ever since.
Within weeks of the ‘Children Overboard’ claims, the Howard government enforced a media blackout of sorts on asylum seekers.
How do the media management strategies devised in haste 15 years ago affect how asylum seekers are portrayed today?
Photos of beaming young asylum-seekers with their families aboard HMAS Adelaide in October 2001 told a completely different story to the government’s spurious ‘children overboard’ claims.
Courtesy Project SafeCom, Jack H Smit.
Images move us to act – as last week's episode of Four Corners has shown. Our government has gone to great lengths to suppress photos that humanise asylum seekers – but when they seep out, empathy is aroused.
Most Australians are unlikely to be able to describe the doctrine of the separation of powers, but they’re quick to assert their liberties under the rubric of a ‘fair go’.
The government’s uncontested assessment of national interest and security often trumps the rule of domestic and international law, as well as Australia’s obligations under human rights treaties.
Julian Burnside at a hearing during the Tampa case in 2001.
By our response to boat people since August 2001, we may have redefined our national character.
Australia dispersed refugees who were rescued by the Tampa, and its policies haven’t improved.
The dramatic rescue of more than 400 asylum seekers by the Norwegian vessel, the Tampa, ten years ago set in train a series of events that has since caused immense suffering to so many. It is surely now…