The Law Council of Australia responds to the Migration Amendment Bill 2013 (Provisions):
“The Law Council of Australia regrets that it is unable to provide a submission in response to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s inquiry into the provisions of the Migration Amendment Bill 2013 (Cth) (the Bill) due to the short timeframe for making submissions.
By seeking to circumvent this decision, the Law Council is concerned that the amendments proposed in the Bill could place men, women and children who have been found to be owed protection by Australia at risk of prolonged or indefinite immigration detention as a result of the issue of an adverse assessment by ASIO. If enacted, the Bill would leave these refugees unable to obtain a protection visa in Australia and unable to return to their country of origin due to a genuine fear of persecution. Under current policy settings, such refugees are also ineligible for release into community detention arrangements and other forms of conditional release.”
The Abbott government’s decision to restrict the time periods of legislative enquiries is designed to avoid criticism and accountability. The peak body for lawyers in Australia speaks out on an issue, raises legitimate concerns about a bill yet is forced into a short two page submission because of petty politics.