: Protection from torture and other serious human rights violations

Protection from torture and other serious human rights violations

Philip Lynch
Federal

In a rare piece of good news on the legal protection of asylum seekers, the federal government passed the Migration Amendment (Complementary Protection) Bill 2011 on 
19 September 2011.

Complementary protection is the duty owed by a State to not return people to face torture or other serious human rights violations in their country of origin, even if their cases do not fall within the scope of the Refugee Convention. To date, these obligations have received insufficient legislative protection in Australia.

The Bill provides for the grant of a protection visa in circumstances where, as a foreseeable consequence of removal from Australia, there is a real risk the applicant will be arbitrarily killed, subject to the death penalty, or subject to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

 

PHIL LYNCH is executive director of the Human Rights 
Law Centre.

(2011) 36(4) AltLJ 279
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