High Court upholds offshore detention of asylum seekers

A High Court challenge to Australia’s policy of sending asylum seekers to be detained and processed in Papua New Guinea was unanimously rejected today. In Plaintiff S156/2013 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, The High Court ruled that the legislation was valid under the “aliens” power in s 51(xix) of the Constitution, adopting a broad interpretation of the word. It also ruled that the designation of PNG as a “regional processing country” was valid, because the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) was amended after the successful challenge to the so-called Malaysia Solution, giving the Minister much broader discretion.