Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities Bill

May 4, 2015

ALHR is strongly opposed to this Bill and recommends that it be rejected in its entirety. The Bill gives private security officers the power to use force against people, including children, in immigration detention facilities that is greater than the force allowed in analogous State and Territory prison legislation. ALHR notes that most people in immigration detention facilities have not been convicted of, or even charged with, any offence. If the Bill is to pass, we submit that it requires substantial amendment as in its present form it is likely to fundamentally encroach on a number of human rights including the right to life; the non-derogable right against torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading conduct; the right to humane treatment in detention and the right to effective remedy.

This submission focuses on key deficiencies in the Bill in relation to:

  • the scope of the powers of an authorised officer to use reasonable force against the detainees in prescribed situations;
  • the lack of statutory safeguards around the use of force; and
  • the lack of transparency and adequacy of the investigation and complaints procedures, in particular, the bar on proceedings in all courts except the High Court.