Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Malaysian Solution in the hands of the High Court

Manne's campaign is government-funded
THE truly startling aspect about the legal action in the High Court is that the government appears to have been taken by surprise.

To have the government's argument denounced by the court as "half-baked" indicates that someone inside the government forgot about the redoubtable, and very well resourced, David Manne.

It was entirely predictable that Manne, the lawyer behind Melbourne's Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, would be looking for ways to use the courts to derail the Malaysia Solution.

The only real surprise is that his challenge goes far beyond the well-flagged argument that seeks to show that Immigration Minister Chris Bowen cannot run this policy while simultaneously giving priority to the welfare of unaccompanied children.

If Manne gets up on this one, it will do far more damage to the government's policy on boatpeople than his last outing in the High Court, which cleared the way for more legal challenges by asylum-seekers.

The legal centre's federal funding of $1.29 million - or 68 per cent of its revenue - comes from the Department of Immigration.

When that is added to generous funding from Victoria, these two governments provide 83 per cent of the revenue that was available to the legal centre last year - or $1.58m out of total revenue of $1.9m.

But if Manne wins, it could be an own-goal. Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark is already on record as stating that he is not too keen on state funding being used for federal matters.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.