Asylum seekers and refugees

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. Current priorities are advocacy for an end to indefinite detention of refugees resulting from ASIO adverse security assessments, clear policy separation of ‘border security’ and ‘national security’ and an update of CCL policy in response to the latest Australian Government policies and practices

Submission in relation to the Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - December 2012

The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties has lodged with the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee a submission vehemently opposing the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill.

NSWCCL respectfully submits that:

  1. The Bill should clearly provide that detention of citizens and non-citizens alike should not be permissible solely on the basis of being issued an adverse security assessment.
  2. A statement of reasons for an adverse security assessment is rendered ineffective without an acceptable avenue for appeal and an explicit minimum degree of content.
  3. Merits review by way of expansion of the jurisdiction of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal is strongly preferable to the Independent Reviewer scheme.
  4. The Special Advocate model as proposed in this Bill requires expansion in order to facilitate procedural fairness.
  5. NSWCCL supports the provisions in the Bill for regular review of assessments on a prescribed basis, in order to ensure Australia complies with international human rights obligations.
  6. A notable decrease in ASIO’s disclosure reflects a lack of transparency and accountability, both of which are required from an organisation acting in the interest of national security. The Bill should mandate a minimum level of ASIO reporting.

Click here for the submission

Click here for the media release regarding this submission


An Open Letter to the Attorney General regarding adverse ASIO Security Assessments - January 2012

NSWCCL and Liberty Victoria have written an Open Letter to the Attorney General regarding adverse ASIO Security Assessments.

There are currently over 50 people in immigration detention in Australia who have been found to be refugees but have received adverse security assessments from the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Refugees who are adversely assessed by ASIO are not allowed to know the evidence or the reasoning which underpin the assessment. They have no right to know of or respond to any evidence or allegations taken into account against them

It is fundamental to our democratic system that a person should not face indefinite detention without being allowed to know why, and without the ability to challenge the factual basis and discretionary considerations which are said to support it.

Read the full letter here