Somehow in everything that has being going on in the last two weeks, I missed the High Court’s decision on the detention of asylum seekers on the Friday before last (6/8). Briefly, the HCA held that the Commonwealth Parliament could legislate for the indefinite detention of asylum- seekers and that the Government could use that legislation to lock up indefinitely without trial or charge an alien who had not been granted a visa and could not be deported because no country would have them. Make that two Black Fridays in a row. Once again it was left to Justice Kirby alone to dissent, and for the Greens and Democrats to speak out. (Where was the party of social justice? or the heirs to JS Mill?)
This is yet anyone example of why we desperately need a bill of rights. As Crispin Hull simply put it last week in an op-ed in the CT:
Forget for the moment that the people being dealt with are refugees. Surely, it should be unacceptable to the Australian community that the Government could lawfully hold anyone in detention for the rest of their lives without charge or trial.