On 17 August 2017, the High Court delivered a brief judgment in the case of Plaintiff S195/2016 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (‘Plaintiff S195/2016’). The Court found against the plaintiff, an Iranian national who sought asylum in Australia. Since 2013, he has been subject to the offshore immigration detention regime and detained on Manus Island at the Manus Regional Processing Centre (‘RPC’) in Papua New Guinea (‘PNG’). The Court unanimously rejected the plaintiff’s claim that the Australian government can only exercise its powers outside Australia for purposes that would be legal under the law of the relevant foreign country. The decision confirmed the Australian government’s power to establish and maintain its offshore immigration detention facility on Manus Island, despite the earlier finding of the PNG Supreme Court that Australia’s arrangement with PNG violated that country’s Constitution.
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