The full court of the Federal Court of Australia has been asked to hear an urgent appeal on behalf of Australian born-baby Ferouz in an application filed today in Brisbane.
Murray Watt, Maurice Blackburn senior associate said:
“We are seeking to have yesterday’s judgement by His Honour Judge Jarrett quashed and in doing so we request an urgent hearing to argue for baby Ferouz’s right to stay in Australia and an urgent undertaking that other 100 Australian-born babies we represent won’t be sent offshore until the legal questions on the Ferouz case are dealt with in the appeal.
“We believe we have a strong argument under the Migration Act, that it's not correct to interpret the laws in a way that says that a baby born in an Australian hospital entered Australia by sea.
“The reason the appeal needs to be heard quite quickly is that given yesterday's Federal Circuit Court decision, there is now very little stopping the Australian Government sending Ferouz, at short notice, to inhospitable conditions in off-shore detention on Nauru. He is an Australian-born baby who did not arrive by boat.
“Unfortunately the Federal Government has refused to give an undertaking that it will not send Ferouz and his family from Myanmar to Nauru until the outcome of the appeal is known.
“That means that he and the other 100 Australian-born babies could be taken at very short notice.
“Aside from the specific legal points we wish to argue on behalf of Ferouz, the Federal Government is seeking to change laws that govern the future of these Australian-born babies who have lived in detention since they were born. This will be debated by the House of Representatives as early as next week. We are urging Clive Palmer and the Palmer United Party Senators to reject these amendments to the Migration Act.
“These amendments would give the Australian Government the power to transfer of all these Australian born babies to Nauru.
“It is now more critical than ever that all Australian members of Parliament – particularly those with the balance of power – vote against these amendments and let these Aussie-born kids stay.
“As a country, we can do better than this. It is now the responsibility of the Australian Parliament to step up and to show some humanity.
“Mr Palmer has shown compassion about asylum seekers seeking refuge here and says they should not be treated like second class citizens. As a caring Dad Clive would know how important it is for kids to have a good start in life, and not to be subjected to political game-playing. They are not illegal boat people.
“We are happy to meet with any Senators – of whatever political party - to explain exactly what these amendments mean.
The Federal Government has not yet given an undertaking that the other 100 Australian-born babies or their immediate family members will not be transferred offshore until the outcome of Ferouz’s appeal is known.”
“It is not appropriate for these Australian born babies to be moved while the issue is still before the courts,” said Mr Watt.