Better treatment of asylum seekers will lead to less legal claims

23rd Aug 2012

The Australian Lawyers Alliance today welcomed the AMA’s call for independent medical assessments of asylum seekers.

“The ALA has advocated for a number of years that the Commonwealth has a duty of care towards those it detains and it must ensure that its detention does not cause asylum seekers mental and physical harm,” Australian Lawyers Alliance Director, Greg Barns, said.

“It is clear that thousands of asylum seekers have had their health and wellbeing severely impacted because of poor conditions in detention centres and lack of proper scrutiny of the health services in those detention centres. The AMA’s proposal will provide that accountability,” Mr Barns said.

He said the consequence of not providing asylum seekers offshore or onshore with access to decent medical care was that they would continue, rightly, to bring claims for damages against the Commonwealth for mental and physical harm caused in detention.

“Already, as the ALA revealed last year, such claims have cost the Australian taxpayer more than $20 million,” Mr Barns said.

To see the AMA’s press release, follow this link.

Tags: Compensation Asylum seekers and refugees