Asylum seeker family win right to fair hearing

29 November 2013
An asylum seeker family have been granted the right to fairly argue their case to not be removed to Nauru, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers announced today.

Maurice Blackburn Associate Murray Watt said the Federal Government had finally offered baby Ferouz and his family natural justice regarding any decision to remove them to Nauru.

"The Government has now committed that it will not remove the family to Nauru without giving them a fair hearing," Mr Watt said.

"This is a fair outcome for Ferouz and his family, and a fair outcome for the Australian community.

"Only a week ago, Ferouz and his family faced removal to Nauru at any time.

"All we have argued, is that the family had a right to be heard, and that they should not be taken to Nauru without being afforded that basic process of fairness.

"The Federal Government has now conceded that baby Ferouz and his family deserve that right.

"The Department has now set a standard, in granting asylum seekers who are brought to Australia for medical treatment a fair hearing before being returned offshore.

"We expect the Federal Government to undertake this process in good faith to make sure Ferouz and his family are treated fairly.

"They deserve the opportunity to see the evidence the Government will rely on, in deciding whether to remove them, and to put forward independent medical evidence on their health.

"They also deserve the chance to have the Government hear the case for Ferouz's right to citizenship or a protection visa, given he was born in Australia to stateless parents.

"These concessions from the Government are welcome, and have helped to ensure matters can now hopefully be finalised as soon as possible, outside of a court process.

"This is a good outcome for Ferouz and his family but, as a community, we now need to consider the dozens of other children and families in detention on Nauru.

"Just this week the UNHCR found that conditions on Nauru are inhumane, and that no child should be taken there.

"We call on the Government and the Australian community to reconsider the policy of detaining children in these conditions."

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