Written by Bella Dalima
15 Oct, 2014 | 4:33 pm
The Federal Government has said it acted lawfully when detaining 157 asylum seekers on board a Customs boat for a month, telling the High Court that India was an “obvious place” to send them.
In a separate case on Wednesday, the Federal Court in Brisbane dismissed an application to allow a baby born in Australia to asylum-seeker parents to apply for a protection visa.
Judge Michael Jarrett ruled that baby Ferouz Myuddin satisfied the criteria to be an “unauthorised maritime arrival”, even though he was born in a Brisbane hospital last year.
He said the law provided for children in such a position to be treated in line with their parents, who are not able to apply.
In the High Court in Canberra, the General-Solicitor Justin Gleeson said the decision to intercept the boat carrying the 157 asylum seekers had come from the National Security Committee of Cabinet, of which Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is a member.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the asylum seeker CPCF, who was on board the boat carrying 157 asylum seekers, said the government was deliberately ignoring international human rights.
“The Australian government is repeatedly increasingly saying that we comply with human rights law in our actions at sea, but in this case they are saying we don’t have any legal obligation under Australian law to comply with international law,” said Hugh De Krester from the Human Rights Law Centre.
The 157 asylum seekers were later flown via the Cocos Islands to the Curtin Immigration Centre in Western Australia, before being transferred to Nauru.
The findings of the High Court case will be handed down in the coming months.
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