Australia’s current asylum seekers policies and practices are a gross breach of human rights and decency. CCL gives very high priority to helping bring about fundamental reform to these policies. We prioritise advocacy for the restoration of Australia’s commitment to respect and fulfil our international human rights obligations, especially in relation to the Convention for the Security of Refugees, which the Australian Government has so shamefully repudiated in law and in practice.
Specific priorities include the reinstatement of a pathway to permanent visas; an end to indefinite detention of refugees resulting from ASIO adverse security assessments; clear policy separation of ‘border security’; and ‘national security’; visa cancellations and an ongoing update of CCL policy in response to the latest Australian Government policies and practices.
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties wrote to Senator Marise Payne today calling for urgent action to rescue people employed by Australia in Afghanistan now, without long delays checking on health, security and character.
Comments from our Government that those working through subcontractors are not eligible, or that the Government is following rules drawn up by the previous Labour government, are deeply disturbing.
It's time for action, not political point scoring.
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties is calling DFAT to withdraw its 2019 Country Information Report - Sri Lanka, relied on to refuse protection to Tamils including the Murugappan family, due to concerns over its currency and accuracy.Read more
Refugee Week 2021: Australia is watching the unfolding fate of the Biloela family, leading us to reflect on the harm that our Government has caused - and continues to cause - to vulnerable people.
Ironically, refugee week began in Australia in 1986 before spreading to other countries. Fast forward 35 years and we have the dubious distinction of years of international condemnation for our illegal detention of asylum seekers and refugees.
Compounding this, we routinely separate families; our family reunification processes have been labelled 'discriminatory' by the UN; and advocates say refugees are being overlooked in our vaccine rollout.Read more
The criminal justice system may impose a sentence of imprisonment on a person. While the person’s family is affected in obvious ways by this, once the sentence is served, the family member returns home. There is no family separation beyond the sentence. But where the person is not an Australian citizen but is here on a visa, even a permanent residence visa, they may be held to have failed the character test under section 501 of the Migration Act, and have their visa cancelled. They are at once put in immigration detention. Between July 2018 and December 2020 there were 2,517 such cancellations.Read more
A Senate inquiry, which started in February, is examining the processing of family and partner reunion visas over concerns the system is being plagued by lengthy waiting times and exorbitant costs.
In a submission to this enquiry, The UNHCR slammed Australia and specifically pointed to the disproportionate impact of these challenges on refugees trying to bring family into Australia.Read more
A new Direction from the Minister for Immigration, governing how decision-makers must approach visa refusal and cancellation, creates serious risks for vulnerable people. Refugees could see their visas cancelled relying on Family Violence Orders that are then found to be unsubstantiated; minor children are at risk of being separated from their parents; and survivors of family violence may be deterred from seeking assistance.
The NSWCCL calls for the immediate replacement of Direction 90.Read more
NSWCCL is asking its members, as a matter of urgency, to contact the Minister for Home Affairs, Karen Andrews, and/or the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke, asking for more time for members of the legacy caseload to submit updated applications for asylum, before their cases are heard.Read more
25 February 2021
Asylum seekers who are denied visas by Mr. Dutton, the Minister for Home Affairs, will now face fees of $3,330 to appeal to the Federal Circuit Court to have his decisions reviewed and overturned. This is a clear, deliberate and unconscionable action by the Morrison Government to deny asylum seekers access to the Courts and to justice.Read more
NSWCCL wrote to ALP and Cross-bench Senators regarding the increase in filing fees in the Federal Circuit Court for migration-related matters. The fee will rise from $690.00 to $3,300.00. NSWCCL urged Senators to vote to disallow this instrument.
1 December 2020
Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court Amendment (Fees) Regulations 2020
On October 29 this year, the Government introduced a swingeing increase in filing fees in the Federal Circuit Court for migration-related matters. The fee will rise from $690.00 to $3,300.00 on January 1 next year.
The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties is deeply concerned by this change, as it will prevent many people from obtaining a review and reversal of unlawful, unjust, adverse decisions. It will prevent others from being able to afford legal representation too, thus lessening their chances of having mistakes exposed.Read more
NSWCCL wrote to cross-bench Senators urging them to oppose the Strengthening the Character Test Bill.
1 December 2020
I am writing on behalf of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, asking you to vote against the Strengthening the Character Test Bill, when, and if, that returns to Parliament.
Despite what has been said in the Explanatory Memorandum, this bill is not about outlaw motorcycle gangs, murderers, people who commit serious assaults, sexual assault of aggravated burglary. People who are convicted of such crimes do not receive sentences of less than a year, unless their actual offences are minor—and if so, they are known not to be a danger to the community. People who receive sentences of a year or more are dealt with by the existing legislation.