Legal paradigms changing: NZYQ v. Minister of Immigration, a landmark ruling

Legal paradigms changing: NZYQ v. Minister of Immigration, a landmark ruling

  • In a recent ruling, the High Court reversed the Al-Kateb v. Godwin judgment and declared indefinite detention to be illegal.
  • The ruling emphasizes how critical it is that Australian immigration laws respect human rights and fundamental constitutional ideals, particularly for those who are not citizens or who lack citizenship.
  • It also establishes a significant legal precedent that will affect the use of executive authority and judicial scrutiny. The choice can also have an impact on immigration laws and procedures abroad.

An important turning point in Australian jurisprudence has been reached with the recent ruling in NZYQ v. Minister for Immigration Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs & Anor (‘NZYQ’). The High Court of Australia will hear this historic case in 2023, and it will have a significant impact on human rights, immigration law, and the exercise of judicial power under the Australian Constitution.


The facts

NZYQ, the complainant, is a stateless Muslim Rohingya who came to Australia in 2012 via boat. His visa was revoked following a criminal conviction, and he was placed under custody in accordance with the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) (the “Migration Act”). Because of his criminal past, his application for a protection visa was denied even though he was recognized as a refugee with a legitimate fear of persecution in Myanmar. As a result, he cannot be removed from Australia.

Regarding the interpretation of the Migration Act and its consistency with constitutional principles, the High Court was confronted with a number of crucial concerns. It was up to the Court to determine whether NZYQ’s indefinite imprisonment without a realistic chance of being removed was legal.


The High Court’s findings

The Court determined that it was illegal to hold NZYQ indefinitely when it was not practical to remove him from Australia.


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