Amidst the current High Court challenge to section 503A of the Migration Act 1958, the Federal Government has introduced the Migration Amendment (Validation of Decisions) Bill 2017 into Parliament with the intended effect of preserving existing section 501 character decisions, made relying on information provided by gazetted law enforcement and intelligence agencies. As it currently stands, information of this nature is protected from disclosure to Courts and Tribunals under section 503A.
The Parliament of Australia has seen the introduction of the Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 by the Turnbull Government on 15 June 2017. The Bill will set out to strengthen the requirements to become an Australian citizen by increasing the residence requirement and introducing an English competency requirement among other things.
It has been reported that the Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, wants the Federal Government to be given the power to overrule the Administrative Appeal Tribunal (the AAT) with respect to decisions on citizenship matters. Under the proposed changes, Minister Dutton would be given stronger powers allowing him to override the now independent AAT's decisions on citizenship applications.
Today (3 May 2017), the High Court of Australia has unanimously held that ss 189 and 196 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) ("the Act") validly authorised the detention of unlawful non-citizens who were brought to Australia from a regional processing country for a temporary purpose in the case of Plaintiff M96A/2016 v Commonwealth of Australia  HCA 16.
A class action run by Slater and Gordon on behalf of detainees in the Manus Island detention centre will be available to be viewed via a live stream, in what is believed to be an Australian first. The class action trial, which is being held in the Supreme Court of Victoria, is scheduled to begin on 15 May 2017. The class action is being run against the Commonwealth of Australia and two of its sub-contractors, G4S and Broadspectrum. It involves two sets of claims, the first on the grounds of negligence around psychological and physical injury, and the second on the grounds of false imprisonment.
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