Rushed restrictions for newly freed
The Federal Government is imposing “draconian” measures on recently-released foreigners.
In response to a recent High Court ruling declaring indefinite immigration detention unlawful, the Albanese Government is proposing stringent measures, including ankle bracelets and curfews, to monitor the release of 93 individuals affected by the decision.
The ruling prompted the release of detainees, some with criminal convictions, leading the government to introduce emergency legislation.
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles has confirmed the release of all 93 individuals, saying they were set free with strict visa restrictions, electronic monitoring, curfews, and bans related to their offences.
Concerns have been raised by experts and the Law Council of Australia about the rushed and restrictive nature of the legislation, with mandatory minimum jail terms for breaches.
The government's response, seen as lawful and proportionate by Giles, is under scrutiny, with the solicitor general suggesting that an additional 340 detainees may need release pending a comprehensive review following the High Court's decision, expected in 2024.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton has criticised the government for allegedly prioritising the rights of the released individuals over those of victims of crime.
Amidst the debate, Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil has clarified that Labor cannot simply re-detain the individuals, citing the legal implications of the High Court ruling.
O'Neil says there is a need for refinement in the legislation pending the court's legal reasoning.
While the LNP opposition has proposed using terrorist-style preventative or continuing detention orders, legal experts, including the Australian Lawyers Alliance, have criticised the suggestion as “absurd” and highlighted that the released detainees had served their sentences and were assessed as low risk.
The executive director at Refugee Legal, David Manne, says that the High Court's ruling aimed to prevent indefinite deprivation of liberty and urged against baseless assumptions regarding the risk posed by the released individuals.