Judging Refugees: The Clash of Power and Institutions in the Development of Australian Refugee Law

Sydney Law Review, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 51-73, 2004

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/61

24 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2009  

Mary Elizabeth Crock

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: June, 23 2009

Abstract

This article explores one aspect of the controversies that have surrounded asylum seekers and refugees in Australia: the conflict between the executive government and the courts over who should have the final say in status determinations and protection issues generally. This author argues that a combination of history, culture and geography has resulted in an extraordinary intimacy of political involvement in the business of immigration control - setting the groundwork for remarkable clashes with the judiciary. The article sketches the development of Australia's jurisprudence on refugees, exploring the impact that public controversy and direct political pressure might have had on the formation of the law. The author notes that Australia's refugee jurisprudence is recent; it is generally conservative, textual and domestic in its focus. At the same time, the author argues that the jurisprudence represents a good example of 'globalisation' in public international law as Australian courts have both come to consider the refugee jurisprudence of other countries and have themselves contributed to international jurisprudence on refugees.

Keywords: refugees, asylum seekers, immigration, executive, judiciary

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33

Suggested Citation

Crock, Mary Elizabeth, Judging Refugees: The Clash of Power and Institutions in the Development of Australian Refugee Law (June, 23 2009). Sydney Law Review, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 51-73, 2004; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/61. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1424286

Mary Elizabeth Crock (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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