Australian man launches High Court case against the Commonwealth for unlawful immigration detention

16 October 2018
Lawyers for Aboriginal Australian man Daniel Love have today filed a claim in the High Court of Australia for unlawful detention, after Mr Love was repeatedly detained in immigration detention in Brisbane.

Mr Love, who has an extensive Aboriginal Australian history and family lineage and who has lived in Australia since he was a young boy, had his visa revoked and was detained in immigration after being released from incarceration in August.

He was eventually released from immigration detention in late September following intervention from lawyers, with the Department of Home Affairs advising they had reversed an earlier decision to revoke Mr Love’s visa.

Maurice Blackburn Principal Rod Hodgson said the claim was an important step in ensuring that the Commonwealth was held to account for the unlawful detention of Australians.

“Daniel should have never been placed into immigration detention – he is an Aboriginal man with a proud family history, something we believe was something of which the Commonwealth would have been well aware yet they still chose to detain him for close to 50 days,” Mr Hodgson said.

“Daniel had served his time for an offence, yet when he was due to be released he was instead sent straight to immigration detention, with his visa revoked and facing the threat of deportation to Papua New Guinea.

“In our view, the Commonwealth had no lawful authority to remove Daniel from Australia and they did not have the authority to detain him for the purposes of removal.

“Daniel was not an alien as defined under the Australian Constitution, and on this basis his detention was an unlawful act.

“Daniel’s time in detention has had a significant impact on him and his family – he was very fearful of being removed to PNG, he was isolated from his children and family and he repeatedly requested visits from Border Force case workers to try and get updates about what was happening with his case, but this never happened.

“The Commonwealth must be held to account for the unlawful detention of Australians, we understand Daniel’s detention has not been an isolated case and that other Australians have also been detained by the Department of Immigration,” he said.

Mr Love has been represented in this social justice matter by the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (RAILS) and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. 

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