Power to grant protection or asylum still lies in Australian government's hands

March 10, 2014
Power to grant protection or asylum still lies in Australian government’s hands

The government of Australia is facing a series of court cases following the accidental declaration on the web, of the personal details of nearly 10,000 asylum seekers last month.

DIPB (The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection) has confessed that the information leakage pertaining to the personal details of the asylum seekers took place accidentally through its website during mid-February.

The disclosed database includes the full names of the asylum seekers, their nationalities and their arrival dates by boats, and has the details of all the individuals held in the detention centers of Mainland and Christmas Island.

Scott Morrison, Australia's Immigration Minister, has said the information was never meant to be in the public do main, and the immigration department has taken steps to minimize the breach, which were mostly in vain. The Privacy Commissioner and the audit firm KPMG are currently investigating the breach.

Richard Marles, immigration spokesman for one of the Opposition parties asserted that the leak was one of the most noteworthy breaches of privacy in the history of Australia. This is now the subject of multiple legal proceedings by the concerned asylum seekers, who assert that they are now more at risk of being persecuted in their home country.

But, it is doubtful whether any course of action by the asylum seekers such as approaching the courts could result in allowing automatic protection, because the power to grant visas lies only with the Immigration Minister of Australia (i.e. the government of Australia).
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