: Doublespeak?


Kate Galloway

The Commonwealth government continues to demonstrate its expertise in Orwellian turns of phrase. Law reform initiatives have seen the government call for submissions on ‘traditional’ freedoms while passing a tranche of laws that challenge rights to due process and the protection of the law. The Migration Amendment (Protecting Babies Born in Australia) Bill 2014 for example, rather than protecting babies, removes protection for babies born in Australia to asylum seekers, that would otherwise be available under the Refugee Convention. The Guardian for Unaccompanied Children Bill 2014 appoints a guardian for unaccompanied non-citizen children. The Bill is a ‘measure to assist Australia to meet its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child’. The Orwellian twist is that the Bill is intended to apply to all children held in immigration detention, found by the Human Rights Commission to be contrary to human rights.

KATE GALLOWAY teaches law at James Cook University.
(2014) 39(4) AltLJ 273
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