Asylum seekers and the disappearance of human rights. Since the Tampa crisis of 2001, Australian law has worked to draw and redraw the Australian border. While there is a physical border at the point where land meets the sea, the law defines borders differently. For example, legislation has been created to excise the whole of the Australian land mass from the migration zone and to create offshore detention centres where those seeking to arrive in Australia have been held in legal limbo.
The reason for this is that there has been a policy shift since 2001 to stop asylum seekers from arriving on Australian soil. Is this approach consistent with a multicultural Australia? Who benefits from this policy? Can it be justified if it works to roll back human rights and especially the UN definition of a refugee?
Dr Maria Giannacopoulos is Senior Lecturer in Socio-Legal Studies and Postgraduate Director for Law and Criminology in the College of Business Government and Law at Flinders University. She has a law and cultural theory background and conducts interdisciplinary research in the areas of sovereignty, colonialism and borders politics. She currently writing a book for Palgrave titled Sovereign Debt, Austerity and the Endurance of Colonialism. She has written for The Conversation and for ABC Online on questions of race, law and colonialism.