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Evidence of meeting #37 for Citizenship and Immigration in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was refugees.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Carole Dahan  Barrister and Solicitor, As an Individual
Andrew Brouwer  Barrister and Solicitor, As an Individual
Imre Helyes  First Counsellor, Head of Consular Section, Embassy of the Republic of Hungary
James Milner  Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Carleton University, As an Individual
Chantal Desloges  Senior Lawyer, Chantal Desloges Professional Corporation
Mary Crock  Professor of Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, As an Individual

6:25 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair (Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims) NDP Jinny Sims

Thank you very much.

We're going to go to Monsieur Giguère.

May 2nd, 2012 / 6:25 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Thank you very much.

Presently in Australia do you preserve the concept of habeas corpus inside your immigration law?

6:25 p.m.

Prof. Mary Crock

Yes and no. We still have mandatory detention. Children are not supposed to be detained, but they are. We still have the concept of habeas corpus, yes.

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Here is a second important question. If you preserve in your constitution...and there are differences between your immigration law and your constitution. Does your constitution declare your immigration law ultra vires, or do you have important legal contestation?

6:25 p.m.

Prof. Mary Crock

Yes. I should explain that Australia does not have a bill of rights. Our constitution does not guarantee habeas corpus in that sense. In fact, we have one of the only high courts in the world that has ruled that it is permissible to detain non-citizens for the term of their natural life. There is nothing under Australian constitutional law that prevents it. Perhaps that's the question you were asking. We are quite different from Canada in that respect.

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

This is my last question. What is the position of your Australian Human Rights Commission in regard to mandatory detention?

6:25 p.m.

Prof. Mary Crock

Our Human Rights Commission stands very strongly against the practices we in Australia have engaged in. I think I would be safe to say it would agree with most of the comments I've made today.

6:30 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair (Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims) NDP Jinny Sims

Thank you, Mrs. Crock. I want to thank both you and your colleague for having woken up so early to be witnesses before this parliamentary committee. I know that by the time you came on it was 7:30 a.m. As we were enjoying our dinner, you were still looking forward to your breakfast.

Thank you very much for coming and presenting before the committee.

6:30 p.m.

Prof. Mary Crock

Thank you very much.

6:30 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair (Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims) NDP Jinny Sims

The meeting is adjourned until tomorrow.