‘Fast tracking’ refugee status determination

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‘Fast tracking’ in Australia: the background

Before the 2013 federal election, the Coalition announced its plan to assess protection claims more quickly. The plan indicated that a Coalition government would introduce a new ‘Fast Track Assessment and Removal’ (FTAR) process, based on the United Kingdom’s Detained Fast Track (DFT) system.

As originally announced, this process involved ‘four key steps’:

    • Triaging the Caseload;
    • Rapid Assessment;
    • Rapid Review; and
    • Rapid Removal.

The first step was to identify cases that ‘appear[ed] less likely to be successful in gaining refugee status and can be determined readily’, and which would be referred into the Fast Track process. A case officer would then make a decision within 14 days (‘rapid assessment’). If a negative decision was made at this stage, an immediate review would be initiated by another case officer, to be completed within a further 14 days (‘rapid review’). If the review was unsuccessful, removal was to take place within 21 days (‘rapid removal’). Under the policy, if a person was unable to be removed, then he or she would ‘be transferred to Christmas Island pending removal. Voluntary removal options will also be offered at Christmas Island’.


Updated by Katherine Murray