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Detainees Decision Released by High Court

The High Court of Australia has released the full text of its decision in the NZYQ case which invalidated sections of the Migration Act relating to the ongoing detention of a stateless Rohingya Muslim born in Myanmar.

The decision, announced on November 8, led to the release of 141 detainees. Media reports say another 45 people have also been released.

Yesterday, the Minister for Home Affairs, Clare O’Neil, and the Minister for Immigration, Andrew Giles, announced a $255m package which responds to the releases. New legislation passed on November 16 criminalised breaches of conditions by the released detainees. These conditions included working with children, contacting victims and wearing ankle bracelets

The decision released today in the names of Justices Gageler CJ, Gordon, Edelman, Steward, Gleeson, Jagot and Beech-Jones is unanimous. Whilst it argues that sections of the Migration Act are in breach of Chapter 3 of the Constitution, it leaves open the possibility that an alternative regime of detention would be lawful.

A summary of the decision by the full bench of the High Court and the full text of the reasons are shown below.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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