Commission urges immediate Government action
The Australian Human Rights Commission welcomed the High Court’s decision to invalidate the regulation that requires the refusal of a protection visa to a refugee assessed by ASIO to be a “risk to security”.
Commission President Professor Gillian Triggs said that there should be an immediate reconsideration of whether a protection visa should be granted to the more than 50 recognised refugees who have received an adverse security assessment.
The Commission recognises that Australia has a sovereign right to take measures to protect national security, including conducting security assessments of people seeking a visa to remain in Australia.
“However, the Commission has consistently argued that there should be a more transparent review process of adverse security assessments issued by ASIO to people who are not Australian citizens. We welcome the government’s indication that such a review mechanism will be established and urge them to do so as soon as possible.”
“The Commission is also concerned about the prolonged and indefinite detention of people who have received adverse ASIO assessments, including parents with young children.
“The detention of a person who poses a security threat is permitted under international law; however it should be necessary, proportionate to the threat and subject to judicial oversight. We urge the government to conduct an individual assessment of the ongoing need to detain all people who have received adverse security assessments as soon as possible,” said Professor Triggs.
“If a person with an adverse security assessment is not granted a protection visa, alternative visa options should be considered; or alternatives to indefinite detention in closed facilities including community detention with the imposition of conditions if necessary to mitigate any identified risks.”