NOTE: The High Court is the highest court of the land. This is the first time the new laws introduced a couple of years ago have been heard before the High Court.
GUARDIAN: Churches and cathedrals in Australia are offering sanctuary to asylum seekers who have suffered trauma and abuse to prevent their return to Nauru.
On Wednesday the high court ruled Australia’s offshore detention regime on Nauru had been lawfully established.
The decision means that up to 267 asylum seekers on the mainland could be sent back to the island nation, where a large number of serious sexual assaults have been reported included a reported case involving a 5yo. A Senate inquiry also raised serious concerns about conditions on Nauru, where infant children are being held.
10 Anglican and Uniting churches around the country have offered sanctuary to the asylum seekers who are at risk of being returned.
The right to sanctuary, while not now recognised under common law in Australia or other jurisdictions, is a biblical concept that had legal basis during the middle ages.