High Court TPV decision exposes Australia's failure for moral safety-net

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 0417 090 130
Web: http://www.safecom.org.au/

High Court TPV decision exposes Australia's failure for moral safety-net

Media Release
Thursday November 15, 2006
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

"This morning's High Court decision that the Temporary Protection Visa regime established by the Howard government is not coming unstuck even when tested by our Highest Court shows the serious nature of Australia's failure to make life safe for refugees already accepted under the UN Convention," WA Rights group Project SafeCom stated in reply.

"This is the second time in one week where the lives of people and the human implications of a court decision are not taken into account - after an earlier decision in relation to the IR laws -, and it provides the highest and best evidence that any government that wants to be immoral, can get away with it in Australia, because we don't have safeguards laid down in human rights law or a Bill of Rights," spokesman Jack H Smit said.

"The dissenting judge, Mr Kirby, rightly mentioned the killing of a dozen Hazaras in his comments, and in a 'globalised hypothetical sketch', we may well say, that "meanwhile, outside the Australian high Court in Canberra, the Taliban went on a murdering rampage, killing another dozen of Hazaras for fun", because that's exactly the case in Afghanistan", Mr Smit said.

"A Human Rights Act would be able to include that "causing deliberate and serious disruption to the continuity of life and the ability to develop a career or a family life", whether that is for refugees or asylum seekers or Australians, could be defined as a crime against humanity."

"Already we breach International Conventions by arbitrarily jailing those who seek our protection for years and years. Now we see how an obstinate, mean-spirited government, that is unwilling to enshrine even a sliver of generosity in legislation, is able to reduce the functioning of Australia's Highest Court into a rubber stamp, confirming they've done everything right on paper. This is a scandal of the highest moral proportions, and only a Bill of Rights could start to rectify this," Mr Smit concluded.

For more information:

Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]

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