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Change Division
senate vote 2014-12-04#16

Edited by mackay

on 2014-12-11 17:11:57

Title

Description

  • The question is that schedule 5 stand as printed.
  • The majority agreed that schedule 5 should remain as it is (in parliamentary jargon, they voted that "schedule 5 stand as printed"). This question was put to the Senate after Greens Senator [Sarah Hanson-Young](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/sa/sarah_hanson-young) [introduced a motion](http://www.openaustralia.org.au/senate/?gid=2014-12-04.218.1) to oppose the schedule.
  • ### What is Schedule 5?
  • This schedule makes changes that may go against some of Australia's [international law](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_law) obligations, particularly in respect to [non-refoulement](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-refoulement) and the definition of a [refugee](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee).
  • #### *Non-refoulement*
  • The non-refoulement obligation stops Australia from sending people to places where their lives or freedoms are threatened. Australia has this obligation because it signed up to the [Convention relating to the Status of Refugees](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_relating_to_the_Status_of_Refugees), the [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Covenant_on_Civil_and_Political_Rights) and the [United Nations Convention against Torture](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_against_Torture).
  • Schedule 5 will insert a provision into the *[Migration Act 1958](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migration_Act_1958)* that says that Australia’s [non-refoulement](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-refoulement) obligations are not relevant to removing people who are not citizens and don't have a visa. The [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040#_Toc401816905) explains that this change would mean courts won't be able to stop the Government from removing people just because it is against Australia’s non-refoulement obligations. In other words, the Government wants to decide how to apply those obligations by itself, without any potential judicial oversight.
  • #### *Refugee definition*
  • Under the [Convention relating to the Status of Refugees](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_relating_to_the_Status_of_Refugees), a refugee is any person who:
  • > '*owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.*'
  • Schedule 5 inserts new definitions for some of these requirements, including new definitions of ‘well-founded fear’ and ‘membership of a particular social group other than family’. It also removes several references to the Refugee Convention from the Migration Act.
  • The [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040) suggests that these changes have been made "at the very least to limit Australia’s obligations under the [Refugee] Convention and curtail the way in which such obligations are interpreted by the judiciary".
  • ### Bill's main idea
  • The bill's main idea is to speed up the management of [asylum seekers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee#Asylum_seekers)' claims and support the Government's policies that stop asylum seekers from coming to Australia by boat (for example, by intercepting the boats and turning them around). It also re-introduces [temporary protection visas](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporary_protection_visa) "because the Government is of the view that those who arrive by boat without a valid visa should not be rewarded with permanent protection" (see the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040))
  • ### Background to the bill
  • The title of the bill says it is about "resolving the asylum legacy caseload". This refers to the asylum claims made by [asylum seekers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee#Asylum_seekers) who arrived by boat without a visa between August 2012 and December 2013 and who have not been sent to be processed on [Nauru](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru_detention_centre) or [Manus Island](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_Island_Regional_Processing_Centre). The Coalition Government says this caseload of asylum claims is the result of the previous Labor Government's policies.
  • During the 2013 election campaign, the Coalition said it would address this caseload and the changes made in this bill are part of their effort to do this.
  • More information on the background to the bill is in the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040#_Toc401816905).
senate vote 2014-12-04#16

Edited by mackay

on 2014-12-11 16:41:21

Title

  • Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Agree with the amended bill
  • Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Keep schedule 5 as it is

Description

  • The majority agreed with the bill as it has been amended during the [Committee stage](http://www.peo.gov.au/learning/fact-sheets/making-a-law.html). This means that the majority want to stop discussing the detail of the bill and now want to vote on whether to pass it in the Senate.
  • ### Bill's main idea
  • The bill's main idea is to speed up the management of [asylum seekers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee#Asylum_seekers)' claims and support the Government's policies that stop asylum seekers from coming to Australia by boat (for example, by intercepting the boats and turning them around). It also re-introduces [temporary protection visas](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporary_protection_visa) "because the Government is of the view that those who arrive by boat without a valid visa should not be rewarded with permanent protection" (see the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040))
  • ### Human rights issues
  • Some of the changes made by the bill may go against Australia's [international law](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_law) obligations. Particularly Australia's [non-refoulement](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-refoulement) obligations, which stop Australia from sending people to places where their lives or freedoms are threatened. Australia has these obligations because it signed up to the [Convention relating to the Status of Refugees](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_relating_to_the_Status_of_Refugees), the [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Covenant_on_Civil_and_Political_Rights) and the [United Nations Convention against Torture](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_against_Torture).
  • For example, the bill will insert a provision into the *[Migration Act 1958](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migration_Act_1958)* that says that Australia’s non-refoulement obligations are not relevant to removing people who are not citizens and don't have a visa. The [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040#_Toc401816905) explains that this change would mean courts won't be able to stop the Government from removing people just because it is against Australia’s non-refoulement obligations. In other words, the Government wants to decide how to apply those obligations by itself, without any potential judicial oversight.
  • For more about which changes may go against these obligations and how, see the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040).
  • ### Background to the bill
  • The title of the bill says it is about "resolving the asylum legacy caseload". This refers to the asylum claims made by [asylum seekers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee#Asylum_seekers) who arrived by boat without a visa between August 2012 and December 2013 and who have not been sent to be processed on [Nauru](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru_detention_centre) or [Manus Island](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_Island_Regional_Processing_Centre). The Coalition Government says this caseload of asylum claims is the result of the previous Labor Government's policies.
  • During the 2013 election campaign, the Coalition said it would address this caseload and the changes made in this bill are part of their effort to do this.
  • More information on the background to the bill is in the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040#_Toc401816905).
  • The question is that schedule 5 stand as printed.
senate vote 2014-12-04#16

Edited by mackay

on 2014-12-11 16:37:31

Title

  • Bills — Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014; in Committee
  • Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Agree with the amended bill

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Gavin Marshall</p>
  • <p>Senator Hanson-Young, the result of that division makes your amendment (11) on sheet 7629 redundant. And, Senator Carr, I believe that it makes your amendment (2) on sheet 7637 also redundant. We now move to Greens amendment (5) on sheet 7629.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Sarah Hanson-Young</p>
  • The majority agreed with the bill as it has been amended during the [Committee stage](http://www.peo.gov.au/learning/fact-sheets/making-a-law.html). This means that the majority want to stop discussing the detail of the bill and now want to vote on whether to pass it in the Senate.
  • ### Bill's main idea
  • The bill's main idea is to speed up the management of [asylum seekers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee#Asylum_seekers)' claims and support the Government's policies that stop asylum seekers from coming to Australia by boat (for example, by intercepting the boats and turning them around). It also re-introduces [temporary protection visas](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporary_protection_visa) "because the Government is of the view that those who arrive by boat without a valid visa should not be rewarded with permanent protection" (see the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040))
  • ### Human rights issues
  • Some of the changes made by the bill may go against Australia's [international law](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_law) obligations. Particularly Australia's [non-refoulement](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-refoulement) obligations, which stop Australia from sending people to places where their lives or freedoms are threatened. Australia has these obligations because it signed up to the [Convention relating to the Status of Refugees](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_relating_to_the_Status_of_Refugees), the [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Covenant_on_Civil_and_Political_Rights) and the [United Nations Convention against Torture](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_against_Torture).
  • For example, the bill will insert a provision into the *[Migration Act 1958](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migration_Act_1958)* that says that Australia’s non-refoulement obligations are not relevant to removing people who are not citizens and don't have a visa. The [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040#_Toc401816905) explains that this change would mean courts won't be able to stop the Government from removing people just because it is against Australia’s non-refoulement obligations. In other words, the Government wants to decide how to apply those obligations by itself, without any potential judicial oversight.
  • For more about which changes may go against these obligations and how, see the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040).
  • ### Background to the bill
  • The title of the bill says it is about "resolving the asylum legacy caseload". This refers to the asylum claims made by [asylum seekers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee#Asylum_seekers) who arrived by boat without a visa between August 2012 and December 2013 and who have not been sent to be processed on [Nauru](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru_detention_centre) or [Manus Island](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_Island_Regional_Processing_Centre). The Coalition Government says this caseload of asylum claims is the result of the previous Labor Government's policies.
  • During the 2013 election campaign, the Coalition said it would address this caseload and the changes made in this bill are part of their effort to do this.
  • More information on the background to the bill is in the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040#_Toc401816905).
  • <p>The Greens oppose schedule 5 in the following terms:</p>
  • <p>(5) Schedule 5, page 90 (line 1) to page 100 (line 16), to be opposed.</p>
  • <p>I know everybody is keen to get out of here, and we are moving through the amendments as quickly as we can, so I will continue. This amendment is in relation to deleting schedule 5, which is the schedule that removes the refugee convention from the Migration Act, effectively allowing the minister of the day, the government, to determine what a refugee is, the definition of a refugee, and how international law will be applied in this country. It is an abusive use of power by this minister. It would be a fundamental change to the way Australia deals with our obligations under international law and would send a significant message to the international community that Australia does not care about the refugee convention. This schedule cannot stand the way it is. It is wrong to delete the refugee convention from Australia's law books. It does not matter how much you want to spin it. Why does it need to be done? Because Minister Morrison does not want to have to abide by the obligations as outlined by the refugee convention. If he did, it would not matter. We asked the department, during the inquiry into this, when has this ever occurred before, where you put in the government of the day's own interpretation of our obligations under international law?</p>
  • <p>They could not tell us, because it has not happened. Why hasn't it happened? Because it is wrong. When we abide by international law you put that in your legislation, you say we stick by the convention and you get on and stick by the rules you have signed up to. The schedule should be deleted.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Kim Carr</p>
  • <p>We will be supporting the motion to delete schedule 5.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Michaelia Cash</p>
  • <p>The government will be opposing the amendment moved by the Australian Greens. I again confirm for the chamber that, despite the statements made by Senator Hanson-Young, these amendments do not attempt to displace Australia's obligations under the refugees convention. The new statutory refugee framework is consistent with Australia's obligation under the refugees convention and in no way resiles from Australia' nonrefoulement obligations under the convention. Putting our international obligations into the relevant act will actually serve to strengthen them. We are a sovereign nation and this will ensure that our laws are determined by Australians and the Australian parliament.</p>
  • <p>The CHAIRMAN: The question is that schedule 5 stand as printed.</p>
  • <p></p>