High Court rejects offshore immigration detention challenge

THE full bench of the High Court has upheld the constitutional validity of Australia's offshore detention regime, in a controversial judgement in Canberra today.

A Bangladeshi woman had challenged the Australian Government's ability to operate the Nauru detention centre and fund private contractors to run it in another country.

The woman was transferred from Nauru to Brisbane for medical treatment after she suffered medical complications linked to her pregnancy.

She gave birth to her daughter in Australia and brought the challenge to avoid being sent back.

While lawyers for the woman challenged the constitutional validity of the government running the detention centre, the government last year changed a loophole in the funding arrangements.

It is understood the government was concerned the loophole could be used by the woman's legal team to mount a successful challenge to the entire offshore detention centre system.

The Court unanimously held that those legal changes, backed by the Opposition in parliament, was authorised by valid laws, and as such, was not unconstitutional.


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