It’s chaotic – and an invitation to keep appealling:
MORE than 70 per cent of failed asylum-seekers who have arrived in Australia since boats started coming in late 2008 have had their cases overturned on review, undermining attempts by the government to end the people-smuggling trade by denying residency to boatpeople….
According to the Immigration Department 910 failed asylum-seekers’ cases were reviewed between October 2008 and March this year.
Of those, 641 – or 70.4 per cent – successfully argued that their negative decisions should be overturned. The figures do not include the wave of failed asylum claims that can now be pursued in the courts following last year’s High Court ruling – a development that is sure to result in more failed cases being overturned. Last year the government was warned the high success rate of asylum claims was one of the reasons people-smugglers were targeting Australia instead of other parts of the world, where the success rate was lower.
Of those further claims in the courts, the scale is amazing. Here are those which were finalised just last year:
There were about 300 cases in the Federal Court last year.
There were about 40 in the Federal Court’s Full Court
And here’s an insight into why so many appeals by thwarted asylum seekers get accepted, in this case by the Refugeee Review Tribunal:
Last week the Refugee Review Tribunal announced which of its 43 members applying for reappointment would be kept, and which sacked.
An unusually high number – 18 – were shown the door, including a former Labor MP, Noel Pullen.
Furious RRT insiders have checked the case records of these 43 to see how they handled appeals by asylum seekers wanting a review of Immigration Department decisions to turn them down and send them home.
The 25 RRT members who were reappointed last week have, over the past three years, rejected appeals by asylum seekers in 62 per cent of cases.
In contrast, the 18 RRT members who were sacked rejected 78 per cent of appeals. What’s more, the toughest four RRT members were all sacked.
Here are some of the people who will replace them. There’s Charlie Powles, a Refugee and Immigration Law Centre solicitor, and Anthony Krohn, a Melbourne barrister who has worked for many asylum seekers and the Refugee Advice and Casework Service.
Add to them the director of the Brisbane Catholic Archdiocese’s Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care; a solicitor for the refugee advocacy group Southern Communities Advocacy Legal Education Service; and a solicitor for Sydney’s Immigration Advice and Rights Centre. Notice a pattern?…
These sackings will now increase the pressure on the remaining RRT members to decide cases not entirely on their merits. Several privately tell me there is now a “culture of fear” in the RRT, where they feel forced to let in more asylum seekers – or else.
The government is now paralysed on border control. It can merely react, increasingly ineffectively, to the growing aggression and self-confidence of the illegal immigration industry.
Every announcement of tough measures is shown soon enough to lack credibility….
The illegal immigration industry has got the government completely sussed. Now it is in the process of making the detention-centre network completely unworkable.
In order to defuse tensions in the detention centres, processing times will be cut and people will be released as permanent residents sooner than ever.
They will win the prize of permanent residency and they will confirm the product the people-smugglers have to sell.