The Refugee Advice and Casework Service, RACS, was delighted to launch its judicial review referral service for people seeking asylum under the Fast Track process, last night at Baker & Mckenzie.

We were extremely honoured to have as guest speaker, Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Professor Triggs has been a beacon of light in the defence of human rights for the voiceless and the vulnerable. Professor Triggs commended the work of RACS and spoke of the importance of protecting the human rights of people who have sought asylum in Australia, access to legal assistance and the rights to review. She also presented an overview of the AHRC’s discussion paper “Pathways to Protection: a human rights-based response to the flight of asylum seekers by sea”.

We were joined by our steering committee members, Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (IARC), Legal Aid, the Bar Association, NSW Law Society and Settlement Services International. The steering committee provide invaluable advice and guidance to the project.

, J4R@RACS, has two part-time legal staff and is funded by Legal Aid NSW.

The project aims to provide a judicial review referral service for ‘fast track applicants’ (as defined in the Migration Act 1958) in New South Wales. It is for those seeking asylum who:
• arrived by boat between 13 August 2012 and 1 January 2014;
• have not been on Manus Island or Nauru for processing at any stage; and
• who have essentially been invited to apply for a Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) or
Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV).

J4R@RACS aims to provide assistance to those with either of the following decisions:
• an Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA) decision to affirm a Department of
Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) decision refusing to grant a fast track applicant a TPV or SHEV; or
• a DIBP decision refusing to grant a fast track applicant a TPV or SHEV which also excludes the applicant from review in the IAA.

J4R@RACS is building a network of barristers and law firms prepared to provide opinions on prospects of success on an application for judicial review and, if there are prospects, representation in the Federal Circuit Court on a pro bono or no win no fee basis where appropriate.

We were delighted to see so many top tier law firms and barristers attend the night in support of this important access to justice project.

17 November 2016

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