Refugee Advice and Casework Service conducts policy and law reform activities that are informed by the experiences of our clients. RACS is committed to law reform activities that work towards achieving a fair and transparent refugee status determination procedure – rules that are clear and are followed. We advocate for a refugee status determination process which is fair to asylum seekers and which respects the rule of law.

In addition to being a voice for our clients, RACS’s policy and law reform work aims to:

  • analyse the impact of the law on people seeking asylum and refugees;
  • draw the attention of government and other relevant institutions, as well as the broader community, to laws with unjust effects on people seeking asylum and refugees;
  • recommend changes to the law and its operation, and to challenge unjust laws;
  • advocate and lobby for legal and social change relevant to our clients and the community.

Our law reform and policy work is conducted within our areas of expertise, focusing on how the law affects those seeking asylum in Australia and those who have been found to be refugees. Wherever appropriate, law reform activities are undertaken collaboratively, in partnership with other relevant organisations or groups.

Our policy and law reform work can include:

  • Conducting research into areas of inequity or injustice in the application of law or legal policy.
  • Advocating on behalf of representatives or groups within the community experiencing disadvantage or injustice – helping our clients make complaints with United Nations, the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Red Cross or the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
  • Providing comments on draft legislation, policies, procedures or other regulatory instruments.
  • Preparing formal submissions and responses to inquiries and reviews established by Government or other organisations.
  • Making direct representation or lobbying Government, regulators, politicians and/or other organisations for improvements in the law or its administration.
  • Reporting systemic issues to Government, regulators and/or other organisations, and identifying areas for change.
  • Raising awareness of relevant issues and promoting possible solutions.
  • Conducting and/or lobbying for resources for policy research.
  • Monitoring overseas approaches and developments.
  • Conducting or participating in public campaigns to highlight an issue and/or build support for change.

You can view RACS’ submissions here.