The High Court has ruled that asylum-seekers on Christmas Island should be able to appeal their cases to mainland courts, threatening to undermine the reasons for offshore processing.
Marion Le, a registered migration agent and human rights advocate, said the judgment that two Sri Lankan Tamil asylum-seekers had been denied procedural fairness would have serious and broad implications.
It meant people arriving by boat would be subject to the same laws as people who arrived on the mainland by plane.
Therefore any legal advantage in processing people on Christmas Island had been “demolished”.
Ms Le told The Australian Online that the government had said in 2008 that detainees held on Christmas Island would be processed, but not according to mainland law.
The consequences of today's judgment were significant, she said, and could see up to hundreds and possibly thousands of asylum-seekers having their cases reopened or taken to the courts. Read more.