Court puts off matter filed by detainees

National

THE Supreme Court has adjourned an application filed by detainees at the Manus detention centre because the lawyers are yet to receive from a judge a report which contains important details to the case.
The three-man panel consists of Justice Nicholas Kirriwom, Justice Collin Makail and Justice Derek Hartshorn.
The report was prepared by National Court judge Justice Terence Higgins.
Lawyer Ben Lomai, representing Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani and 730 detainees who are the appellants in the matter, told the court that the Higgins’ report was vital to the proceeding.
The court heard that the report had been sent out but could not be opened due to technical issues.
The asylum seekers are claiming breaches to the constitution regarding Section 36 (1) on the freedom from inhuman treatment, Section 37 (1) on the protection of the law, Section 42 on the liberty of the person, and Section 57 on the enforcement of guaranteed rights and freedoms.
The asylum seekers claim that they continued to be detained despite a Supreme Court decision on April 26 last year which declared their detention on Manus illegal.
Lomai told The National earlier that his clients were seeking exemplary damages and damages for the breaches of their constitutional rights, including the deprivation of liberty.
Lomai said the A$70 million (K172.2 million) payout ordered by Australia’s Victorian Court in September was for the 1300 registered refugees at the centre or those who had left the centre already.
He said only persons who were given refugee status and had travel documents would be able to open banks account so that their money could be paid there.

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