Immigration rights

We advocate for the rights of vulnerable people who come up against Australia’s aggressive border policy.

Amendments to the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) continue to erode rights of access to tribunals and courts, and continue to undermine Australia’s adherence to the Refugee Convention.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has contributed to parliamentary inquiries impacting on the rights of migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum.

We believe that all individuals should have access to independent review and the redress of the courts.

The ALA remains opposed to:

  • offshore detention;
  • any removal of access to independent review of decision making;
  • indefinite detention of persons assessed negatively by ASIO;
  • the inhumane conditions asylum seekers are subjected to in immigration detention; and
  • the lack of scrutiny and transparency in the treatment of asylum seekers by the Australian government.

Information provided to us under freedom of information laws has revealed that over $27 million has been spent in compensating people housed in immigration detention from 2001–13.

This figure does not include the legal costs paid out by the Department defending such claims.

Individuals must have access to:

  • adequate legal representation;
  • independent review of decisions;
  • safe and humane living conditions; and
  • adequate compensation for unlawful detention and destruction of property.