Thursday, January 07, 2021

Judge says it makes Australia look bad internationally if we return criminal immigrants to their own country

Judge says he is a better judge of Australia's national interest than our elected representatives are

Under international human rights law, the principle of non-refoulement guarantees that no one should be re-turned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm

But breaches of international law are common and this particular one would be unlikely to generate much angst anywhere

In any case the application of any law will be decided in conjunction with the particulars of the case so the outcome is never automatic

The Morrison government has been warned it must consider the impact on Australia’s national interest of sending refugees back to their country of persecution after losing its bid to deport a convicted child sex offender.

Last year the then-acting immigration minister, Alan Tudge, refused an Afghan man a safe haven enterprise visa on character grounds, despite acknowledging the risk he could be killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

But the federal court has set aside Tudge’s decision, ruling he failed to take into account the full ramifications of Australia breaching its international nonrefoulement obligations.

As immigration minister seeking expanded powers to deport visa holders who committed crimes, Scott Morrison told parliament in 2014 that Australia was not seeking to avoid international law and that refugees would “not be removed in breach of any nonrefoulement obligations”.

According to Justice John Griffiths’ decision, handed down on 23 December, Tudge was aware of Australia’s obligation but believed the issue was not relevant to the question of national interest.

“The acting minister undoubtedly recognised that, in this particular case, the exercise of his power under … would put Australia in breach of its international non-refoulement obligations,” the judge said.

“[Tudge] considered that this was outweighed by other considerations which favoured the decision to refuse to grant the applicant the visa.”

The visa applicant, who has spent more than five years in immigration detention, failed the character test after being convicted in 2014 of two counts of assault with acts of indecency and five counts of indecent assault of a person under 16.

Justice Griffiths noted the case was “not the first” in which a minister has cancelled or refused a visa with the consequence the person “would be removed from Australia to their country of origin” in breach of international law.

He warned it was “important to bear in mind that Australia’s nonrefoulement obligations are owed not to the visa holder or visa applicant, but to the international community”.

Tudge had argued that it was merely “speculation” that breaching international law would harm Australia’s national interest.

But Justice Griffiths said the “very serious consequence” of breaching Australia’s obligations “had to be confronted” more directly in circumstances where there was an “accepted risk” the man could be killed.

“The minister erroneously confined his assessment of the national interest by simply focusing upon the seriousness of the applicant’s criminal conduct, the sentence he received, the risk of him reoffending and the harm to the Australian community if such a risk eventuated.

“In my view, the acting minister fell into jurisdictional error by assessing the question of the national interest on an erroneously narrow basis.”

Despite the Australian government’s loss in the case, the judge acknowledged the court “cannot generally review the merits” of an assessment of the national interest, meaning immigration laws properly applied will still allow refugees to be sent back to their country of persecution.

A home affairs spokesperson said the department was considering the decision but as the appeal timeframe had not ended it was “inappropriate to comment further”.

War veteran who stepped in to stop an African gang attacking a helpless child was BRUTALLY bashed

A war hero who was knocked unconscious while trying to stop a young girl from being bashed by 15 gang members now suffers debilitating headaches that leave him thrashing around in agony.

Ben Woolley was unloading shopping from his car outside the family home in Pakenham, east of Melbourne, at 7.30pm on January 2 when his partner Jessica Davies noticed a girl being attacked in a park opposite their home.

Without thinking, the father dashed over to stop the assault and shouted at the group to 'stop fighting' more than 100 times.

While the group of Sudanese nationals stopped attacking the helpless girl, who the 44-year-old described as a Caucasian teenager, the gang diverted their attention to him.

'At that point they started to circle around me,' Mr Woolley told Daily Mail Australia. 'One smashed me over the back of the head with the hard end of the umbrella, but I thought that was just one person, so I kept trying to split the crowd and stop them from attacking.'

Shocking footage captured by Ms Davies showed the moment the gang pounced and began their attack, beating him over the head and coming from every direction.

Mr Woolley tried to fight back, but every time he regained consciousness after being punched he was knocked out again.

'Two men then came over while I was unconscious and the women were shouting to the men "kill him",' he said.

'I'm certain they were trying do to that because they kept stomping on my head and repeatedly punched in the face. I thought I was going to die.'

One woman approached Ms Davies and asked her to put the camera down, claiming the stoush was a 'family matter'.

Ms Davies had to stop filming when she was punched in the back of the head.

When she looked over towards their family home, she realised Xavier, 7, Zariah, 6, and Aaliyah, 3, were watching their mother and step-father getting mauled by the gang.

Zariah later said: 'Is Ben going to be dead forever?' because all she could see was her loving father figure lying motionless in the park.

When he awoke in an ambulance, Mr Woolley, whose three biological children are stuck in Canada with their mother during the pandemic, was convinced he was on the battle ground and started asking paramedics for his old military friends.

Ms Davies said emergency workers had to convince him that he wasn't serving the army anymore, before he started asking for her.

She explained that her partner was initially unresponsive as he lay beaten and bruised in the dirt, before he started making gurgling sounds.

'It was so traumatic. I thought that he was going to die and I just prayed.'

Despite the cracked ribs, a broken nose, partial vision loss in the left eye, pressure behind his now black eyes, and a body riddled with cuts, Mr Woolley said the worst side-effect has been the debilitating cluster headaches.

Though he began suffering from cluster headaches, which he described as 'like a hot poker is stabbing me in the eye', when he was too close to a bomb blast during his 10 years in the army, the attack has made them much worse.

'They're not like normal headaches where you sit and hold your head - they're much worse. I thrash around in pain,' he said.

'I used to get them a couple of times a week, but now they're happening a few times a day.'

As a result, Mr Woolley has been unable to spend any quality time with the children during the school holidays and has missed countless family events.

Ms Davies' children are also now too scared to go to the park opposite their home, and will often run to their parents screaming 'there are Sudanese people in the park'.

Why China WILL back down on trade war with Australia: Expert says the communist superpower has no choice but to end its assault on Canberra

China will 'quietly' back down from its economic coercion of Australia in the face of increased pressure from the US and other allies this year, a leading expert has predicted.

Dr Jeffrey Wilson, research director at the Perth USAsia Centre, said 2021 'will not look like' last year where Beijing progressively blocked most of Australia's top exports including coal, seafood, wine, barley, timber and meat after Scott Morrison called for an inquiry into the origins of coronavirus.

The change of administration in the US shifts the dynamic of the dispute in Australia's favour because Joe Biden is more likely than Donald Trump to pressure China to back down, Dr Wilson told Daily Mail Australia.

'The incoming Biden administration actually cares about containing China in a rules-based system. So when we get punched that's a problem for him. It didn't even occur to Trump that this was something the US should care about,' he said.

Biden has vowed to end Trump's America First approach to foreign policy by restoring American global leadership, calling out human rights abuses and strengthening traditional alliances.

On 3 December, Biden's new national security advisor Jake Sullivan, who has argued for a competitive approach to China, tweeted 'America will stand shoulder to shoulder with our ally Australia.'

The tweet did not mention China but was clearly a reference to the tensions between Canberra and Beijing.

'This shows how seriously the US takes the issue,' Dr Wilson said. 'It's OK for China to bash Australia when Trump doesn't care. But when the US says "if you're going to pick on my little brother then you're picking on me", that completely changes the story for China.

'Once the US gets involved that's a big escalation that they don't want. There's an argument to be made that this will be the thing that actually stops this.'

In January 2019, President Trump signed a 'phase one' trade deal with China to end an 18-month trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

Dr Wilson said China wants to avoid more economic tension with the US and would feel threatened by the possibility of sanctions or tariffs implemented by Biden.

'China can't beat America in a trade war and they don't want to fight with a peer,' he said.

'They've just come out of a trade war with Trump which was terrible for their economy and cost them billions, the last thing they want is one with the Biden administration as well.

'The trade war is also impacting Chinese people as cities where they haven't rationed power for 25 years are facing blackouts,' Dr Wilson said.

'If the government really stopped and thought about this before they had done it, they might have checked what would happen if they banned Australian coal.

'Someone's gone and done it at a very high level and not really bothered to check the consequences.'

Dr Wilson said the blackouts are a 'serious problem' for the Chinese Communist Party which draws its legitimacy and popular support from providing economic development.

'If they can't keep the lights on over winter, it's a pretty damning indictment on their capability as a regime,' he said.

Man files human rights complaint against Scrabble over racist slurs in game dictionary

A Northern Territory man has filed a formal complaint against the owners of popular board game Scrabble for including racist slurs against Aboriginal people in the game’s dictionary of playable words.

Aboriginal activist Stephen Hagan – formerly of Queensland, who last year forced Coon cheese to change its name – lodged the complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission against international toymaker Mattel for allowing the words “abo”, “coon” and “boong” to be played.

He said he was “absolutely flabbergasted” the company permitted the use of such offensive words.

Although the word coon can be misused, it has legitimate uses as well so does belong in the dictionary. "Coon" is short for "raccoon"

"Abo" is simply an abbreviation. Australians are great abbreviators

"Boong" is always derogatory these days but it was originally simply the name of an Aboriginal tribe, no more offensive than "Boori","Murri", "Koori" etc. So it has legitimate historical uses.




No comments: