Australian High Court decision to affect 1,000 rejected asylum claims

09:19, November 12, 2010      

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About 1,000 rejected asylum claims could be affected by a High Court's judgment in favor of two Sri Lankans, who were denied legal fairness in seeking a review of their claims for refugee status, the government estimated Friday.

In a landmark decision, the High Court ruled that two Sri Lankans who arrived by boat were denied "procedural fairness" because their asylum claims were reviewed through a process unchecked by Australian law.

The offshore detention regime was set up to deny those arriving by boat the right to apply for protection unless the immigration minister made an exception.

In effect, it created a two-tier system. Those who arrived at mainland airports had the right to appeal in court against their rejections but those who sailed were funneled through a separate process that mimicked the courts but was not bound by law.

The court's ruling will allow asylum seekers who arrive on Christmas Island to challenge any rejection of refugee claims in Australian courts.

The government estimated on Friday that about 1,000 rejected asylum claims could be affected by the Australian High Court's ruling.

According to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, a "significant" number of claims already in the system are likely to be affected.


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(Editor:张茜)

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