31 Aug '11, 5am

Australian High Court blocks Malaysia refugee swap #kltalk

SYDNEY: Australia's High Court on Wednesday blocked Canberra's plans to send asylum-seekers to Malaysia, saying they could not be sent to a nation where they were not protected by law. The decision is a major blow to the government's plans to ship up to 800 asylum-seekers to Malaysia in exchange for resettling 4,000 of its refugees, and leaves hundreds in a legal limbo. "Today the High Court held invalid the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship's declaration of Malaysia as a country to which asylum seekers who entered Australia at Christmas Island can be taken for processing of their asylum claims," it said in a statement. Lawyers for the two Afghan men at the centre of the case had argued that the deal breached Australia's duties towards asylum-seekers because Malaysia is not a signatory to the UN convention on refugees. The High Court sided with this argument in a ma...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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