Venue: Shah Village’s Hotel, No. 3 & 5 Lorong Sultan, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Date : 18th December 2011 (Sunday) – 10 am to 12pm
Speakers: Matthew Albert, Renuka T. Bala
In early May 2011, the Australian and Malaysian governments suddenly announced a Refugee Swap Deal which sought to transfer up to 800 asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia by sea to Malaysia. This caused a huge public outcry from civil societies and human rights advocates both in Australia and Malaysia, given the latter’s horrendous track record of ill-treatment of refugees. Despite strong objections to Australia’s attempt to outsource its international obligation under the Refugee Convention 1951, the Government of Australia and Malaysia proceeded to sign the illegal Swap Deal on 25th July 2011. Indignant over the decision, a group of Australian human rights lawyers filed a case on behalf of the affected asylum seekers to seek an injunction against the deal and challenge the legality of the deal altogether.
On 31 August 2011, the High Court found Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen’s declaration of Malaysia as a country to which asylum-seekers could be sent for processing was “invalid” and ordered Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen and his department be restrained from sending asylum-seekers to Malaysia.
This is a rare but great example of the Judiciary that puts the Executive’s action in check. Is this possible in Malaysia?
Let us hear in person from Mr Matthew Albert, one of the Barristers from the legal team who acted on behalf of the asylum seekers who will be in town this Sunday to share with us the success story behind the legal challenge on the Swap Deal.
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