Asylum Seeker Policy
28 October 2014
A primary function of the Law Council of Australia is to promote and protect the rule of law. As part of this work, the Law Council monitors the content and operation of laws, regulations and policies affecting the rights, status and treatment of people seeking asylum in Australia, including those who arrive without a valid visa.
These laws and policies have undergone continuing change by successive governments over the last decade or more, and many have also been subject to judicial consideration and extensive public inquiry and review. The result is a system that is complex and difficult to access and understand.
Changes have also occurred that have had an impact on the ability of protection visa applicants to access legal or migration advice. The Law Council does not underestimate the challenges faced by Australian Governments in responding to irregular migration, including the risk of loss of life associated with the arrival of asylum seekers by boat.
This policy position is not designed to prescribe a certain legislative or policy response to these challenges, but rather to highlight the relevant rule of law and international human rights law principles that apply. The policy position further articulates the view of the Law Council regarding the principles that should be respected by government in dealing with those seeking asylum from persecution and fear of serious harm.