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Open letter to Prime Minister to end offshore detention

Open letter to Prime Minister to end offshore detention

By Kerry O'Shea

Advocacy Asylum Child Welfare Human Rights Justice 


The Law Institute of Victoria will tomorrow, Wednesday 24 February, host a launch of a letter from members of the Australian legal profession calling on the government to end offshore processing.

Barrister Julian Burnside AO QC, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre Daniel Webb and the Chair of LIV’s Refugee Law Reform Committee Melinda Jackson will speak at the forum.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, more than 40 law firms, representative bodies, legal associations and jurists strongly advocate for the end of offshore detention and call on the government to bring all asylum seekers in regional processing facilities to mainland Australia to have their claims properly processed.

Mr Burnside, the Human Rights Law Centre and the LIV are among the signatories to the letter.

The letter calls for the 267 asylum seekers at the centre of a recent unsuccessful High Court bid, who are now at risk of being sent to offshore processing centres, to remain in Australia. It also raises the legal profession’s concern that the current offshore detention regime undermines a fundamental legal right - access to justice

The letter was initiated by a social justice lawyer at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, who is representing several asylum seekers involved in the case.

The LIV is a strong advocate on refugee and asylum seeker issues, and convenes a Legacy Caseload Working Group with 90-plus professionals to address the unmet legal needs of asylum seekers in Victoria.

Where: LIV Lecture Theatre, ground floor 470 Bourke St Melbourne

When: 2pm Wednesday 24 February 2016

Who: Barrister Julian Burnside QC, Human Rights Law Centre’s Director of Advocacy Daniel Webb, Chair of Refugee Law Reform Committee Melinda Jackson and representatives from 45 legal organisations and individuals who signed the letter.

Note: Members of the legal profession and media welcome to attend.


For further information regarding this media release please contact:
Kerry O'Shea, General Manager, Public Affairs & Legal Policy

T: 03 9607 9373

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