The decision by an unelected group of High Court judges to reject the hapless Gillard Government’s policy to limit illegal entry to Australia probably accords with the law but is a disgrace. These so-called asylum seekers are economic migrants who choose Australia rather than neighboring countries to reside in for economic reasons. They queue jump over those seeking legal resettlement, burn our buildings, abuse the overly benign Australian legal system and generally do not present themselves as attractive resettler options. The moral blackmail has worn thin.
Australia should abandon UN agreements – the Refugee Convention – compelling it to consider accepting those migrant applicants it wishes to reject. Australians via their elected representatives should determine who become eligible for Australian citizenship. This is not a UN issue and should not be a concern of High Court judges either.
Those lawyers representing the so-called asylum seekers seemed in a triumphalist mood last night. They have delivered a disservice to all Australians and sent out a signal that will encourage more illegal entry.
Update: Ken Parish at Troppo sets out some of the legal issues. Prime Minister Gillard expresses her anger with the decision and points out it’s dangerous implications.