The majority voted in favour of passing the bill in the Senate. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a third time. As the bill has already been passed in the House of Representatives, it will now become law.
What does this bill do?
According to the bills digest:
The purpose of the Migration Amendment (Clarifying International Obligations for Removal) Bill 2021 (the Bill) is to amend the Migration Act 1958 to clarify that the Act does not authorise the removal of a person who is found to attract Australia’s protection obligations under international law. The Bill responds to two recent Federal Court decisions which found that section 197C of the Migration Act effectively overrides Australia’s international obligations not to return a person to a country where they face persecution or a real risk of significant harm (known as non-refoulement obligations). The Federal Court has found that currently, the Migration Act requires a person who is owed such obligations but is refused a protection visa, to either be removed from Australia or released from immigration detention.
The Bill also inserts an express requirement that Australia’s protection obligations be considered before a decision is made whether to grant or refuse a protection visa.
In a nutshell, this amendment will ensure that people can continue to be detained in immigration detention if they have been refused a protection visa but cannot be returned to their own countries of origin due to Australia's international obligations of non-refoulement.
Read more about this bill in the bills digest.