'Fair shake of the sauce bottle’: Fairer ASIO security assessments of refugees
The issuing of adverse security assessments by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (‘ASIO’) often denies basic procedural fairness to those who are not Australian citizens, permanent residents or special purpose visa holders. Over the years the problem has been exposed by cases in the federal courts,1 the Australian Law Reform Commission (calling for an inquiry in 2004),2 and academics.3
From 2009 to the present, the problem has been felt most acutely by 54 irregularly arrived refugees who were refused protection visas after receiving adverse security assessments, and found themselves in indefinite detention. Their situation has been highlighted by the Australian Human Rights Commission, complaints to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, a Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Immigration Detention Network, a UNHCR expert roundtable, and two High Court challenges.4 The Australian Labor Party conference in 2011 suggested referring an inquiry to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, but that had not occurred by late 2012.