On the 19 August 2014, Julian Burnside AO QC and Professor Jane McAdam discussed the myths and realities of the refugee debate in Australia and alternatives to recent government policies on asylum seekers. The seminar, titled 'The Refugee Debate in Australia: Alternative Perspectives', was organised by the New South Wales Bar Association's Human Rights Committee.
A diverse group of 35 high-level policymakers and experts, including a former Indonesian Ambassador to Australia, a strategist from Malaysia, and parliamentarians from three of the four major parties, met all day Friday 11 July to discuss a long-term framework for Australia’s asylum seeker policy
Scholars of international law, human rights law, and refugee law have signed on to a joint statement of concern by reports that asylum seekers have been subjected to rapid and inadequate screening interviews at sea and returned to Sri Lanka.
On Friday, the High Court of Australia held that the Immigration Minister did not have the power to limit the number of protection visas granted to refugees in Australia (Plaintiff S297-2013 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection  HCA 24 (20 June 2014 and Plaintiff M150 of 2013 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection  HCA 25 (20 June 2014))
The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC), a coalition of 21 NGOs working in the field of the promotion Human Rights, Democracy, and Rule of Law in the Kingdom of Cambodia, has raised serious concerns about Australia’s pending agreement with Cambodia in a media release dated 4 June 2014.
Last week, the Refugee Council of Australia, Australia's peak body for refugee organisations, lost $140,000 in federal government funding, amounting to close to a quarter of the organisation's budget. According to the Minister for Immigration, the funding was removed despite the fact the money had been allocated in the Budget, because it was "not the Government's view that taxpayer funding should be there to support what is effectively an advocacy group".
In May 2014, the UK House of Lords voted through a new clause to the Immigration Bill to remove the restriction on making citizens stateless. This expands the Home Secretary’s existing ability to revoke the citizenship of those believed to pose a threat to the UK. The new plans mean that the citizenship of naturalized citizens may be revoked even if they have no alternative nationality to fall back on.
Independent MP for Denison Andrew Wilkie has introduced the Migration Amendment (Ending the Nation’s Shame) Bill 2014 into Parliament. In his Second Reading Speech on 26 May, Mr Wilkie stated that Australia cannot simply be a party to the Refugee Convention, but must also believe in it and demonstrate this belief in practice. The Bill reflects the fact that it is not illegal to seek asylum under international law, and seeks to ensure greater transparency and fairness in Australia’s asylum seeker policy.
Patrick van Berlo, a visiting Master student from Leiden University, writes on the Leiden Law Blog about the conditions for asylum seekers on Nauru and the Nauruan government's revocation of his visa, blocking him from conducting research there. Patrick writes "Having my visa revoked did not stop me from delving into the issue: if anything, it rather encouraged me to go to even greater lengths in order to assess the policies' rationales and effects."