Refugees home in on
Asylum-seekers assessed to be refugees but who are not granted a permanent visa for security reasons are to be able to seek a review of the decision.
Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon has announced that an independent review process is to be introduced for refugees not granted a permanent visa as a result of an adverse security assessment (ASA) from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
Ms Roxon said former Judge of the Federal Court, Margaret Stone had been appointed inaugural Independent Reviewer for the scheme.
“Prior to being appointed to the bench she had a distinguished academic career and was also a partner at Freehill Hollingdale & Page,” Ms Roxon said.
“She is an eminent Australian with experience in legal, immigration and national security matters.”
Ms Roxon said that under the terms of reference for the reviews, Judge Stone would examine the materials used by ASIO and provide a recommendation to the Director-General of Security and report her findings to the Attorney-General, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.
“There will also be a regular 12-month periodic review of adverse security assessments for refugees in immigration detention,” Ms Roxon said.
“Independent review will not lower the bar for assessing a refugee’s risk to Australia’s national security, but will provide greater openness and accountability in the security assessment process.”
She said that after Judge Stone completed her work on the initial round of applications, she would be expected to complete her review of other applications within three months.
Ms Roxon said ASIO had only issued ASAs in a small number of cases.
She said they made up less than one per cent of all irregular maritime arrival visa security assessments undertaken since January 2010.
Edition 335F, 19 October 2012