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A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to migration, and for other purposes
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 14 Feb 2012
Introduced HR 13 Feb 2012
Table of contents.

2010‑2011‑2012

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Migration Legislation Amendment (The Bali Process) Bill 2012

 

No.      , 2012

 

(Mr Oakeshott)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to migration, and for other purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

3............ Schedule(s)......................................................................................... 1

Schedule 1—Offshore assessment                                                                                3

Migration Act 1958                                                                                                     3

Schedule 2—Other amendments                                                                                 14

Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946                                            14

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to migration, and for other purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Migration Legislation Amendment (The Bali Process) Act 2012.

2  Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

3  Schedule(s)

                   Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.


 

Schedule 1Offshore assessment

  

Migration Act 1958

1  At the end of section 4

Add:

             (5)  To advance its object, this Act provides for the taking of offshore entry persons from Australia to an offshore assessment country.

2  Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

                   Bali Process means the process, known as the Bali Process, established at the Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime held in Bali in February 2002.

3  Subsection 5(1) (note 1 at the end of the definition of immigration detention)

Repeal the note, substitute:

Note 1:       Subsection 198AD(9) provides that being dealt with under subsection 198AD(3) does not amount to immigration detention.

4  Subsection 5(1) (paragraph (a) of the definition of offshore entry person)

Before “entered”, insert “has, at any time,”.

5  Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

offshore assessment country means a country designated by the Minister under subsection 198AB(1) as an offshore assessment country.

6  Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

                   Regional Cooperation Framework means the framework agreed to in the co‑chairs’ statement issued at the 4th Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime held in Bali on 30 March 2011.

7  Subsection 5(1) (paragraph (a) of the definition of transitory person)

Before “section”, insert “repealed”.

8  Subsection 5(1) (after paragraph (a) of the definition of transitory person)

Insert:

                    (aa)  an offshore entry person who was taken to an offshore assessment country under section 198AD; or

9  Paragraph 36(2)(a)

Omit “to whom”, substitute “in respect of whom”.

10  Subsection 36(3)

Omit “obligations to”, substitute “obligations in respect of”.

11  Subsection 48A(2) (paragraph (aa) of the definition of application for a protection visa)

Omit “to whom”, substitute “in respect of whom”.

12  Subsection 48A(2) (subparagraph (ab)(i) of the definition of application for a protection visa)

Omit “to whom”, substitute “in respect of whom”.

13  Subsection 189(3)

After “a person”, insert “(other than a person referred to in subsection (3A))”.

14  Subsection 189(3)

Omit “may detain”, substitute “must detain”.

15  After subsection 189(3)

Insert:

          (3A)  If an officer knows or reasonably suspects that a person in a protected area:

                     (a)  is an allowed inhabitant of the Protected Zone; and

                     (b)  is an unlawful non‑citizen;

the officer may detain the person.

16  Subsection 189(5)

After “subsections (3)”, insert “, (3A)”.

17  Paragraph 193(1)(c)

Before “or (4)”, insert “, (3A)”.

18  Subsection 196(1)

Omit “he or she is”.

19  Paragraph 196(1)(a)

Before “removed”, insert “he or she is”.

20  After paragraph 196(1)(a)

Insert:

                    (aa)  an officer begins to deal with the non‑citizen under subsection 198AD(3); or

21  Paragraph 196(1)(b)

Before “deported”, insert “he or she is”.

22  Paragraph 196(1)(c)

Before “granted”, insert “he or she is”.

23  Subsection 196(3)

Omit “for removal or deportation”, substitute “as referred to in paragraph (1)(a), (aa) or (b)”.

24  Division 8 of Part 2 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Division 8Removal of unlawful non‑citizens etc.

25  Before section 198

Insert:

Subdivision ARemoval

26  At the end of section 198

Add:

           (11)  This section does not apply to an offshore entry person to whom section 198AD applies.

27  Section 198A

Repeal the section, substitute:

Subdivision BOffshore assessment

198AA  Reason for Subdivision

                   This Subdivision is enacted because the Parliament considers that:

                     (a)  people smuggling, and its undesirable consequences including the resulting loss of life at sea, are major regional problems that need to be addressed; and

                     (b)  Australia’s commitment to engagement through the Bali Process, including the implementation of the Regional Cooperation Framework, informs Australia’s response to people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crime; and

                     (c)  offshore entry persons, including offshore entry persons in respect of whom Australia has or may have protection obligations under the Refugees Convention as amended by the Refugees Protocol, should be able to be taken to any country designated to be an offshore assessment country; and

                     (d)  it is a matter for the Minister to decide which countries should be designated as offshore assessment countries; and

                     (e)  the designation of a country to be an offshore assessment country need be determined only by reference to the fact that the country is a party to the Regional Cooperation Framework.

198AB  Offshore assessment country

             (1)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, designate that a country is an offshore assessment country.

             (2)  The only conditions for the exercise of the power under subsection (1) are that the Minister thinks that it is in the national interest to designate the country to be an offshore assessment country, and that the country is a party to the Bali Process.

             (3)  To avoid doubt, except as stipulated in this section the international obligations or domestic law of the country do not invalidate an exercise of the power under subsection (1).  

             (4)  Within 14 days of designating a country under subsection (1), the Minister must, in writing, make a request to each of:

                     (a)  the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and

                     (b)  the International Organization for Migration

                   for a formal statement of the views of each of those organisations in relation to any arrangements that are in place, or are to be put in place, in the country for the treatment of persons taken to the country.

             (5)  In considering the national interest for the purposes of subsection (2), the Minister:

                     (a)  must have regard to whether or not the country has given Australia any assurances to the effect that:

                              (i)  the country will not expel or return a person taken to the country under section 198AD to another country where his or her life or freedom would be threatened on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion; and

                             (ii)  the country will make an assessment, or permit an assessment to be made, of whether or not a person taken to the country under that section is covered by the definition of refugee in Article 1A of the Refugees Convention as amended by the Refugees Protocol; and

                     (b)  may have regard to any other matter which, in the opinion of the Minister, relates to the national interest.

             (6)  The assurances referred to in paragraph (5)(a) need not be legally binding.

             (7)  The power under subsection (1) may only be exercised by the Minister personally.

             (8)  If the Minister designates a country under subsection (1), the Minister may, in writing, revoke the designation.

             (9)  Transfer of offshore entry persons to an offshore assessment country may not proceed in the absence of a written agreement between Australia and the country for the taking of persons to the country.

           (10)  In this section, country includes:

                     (a)  a colony, overseas territory or protectorate of a foreign country; and

                     (b)  an overseas territory for the international relations of which a foreign country is responsible.

198AC  Documents to be laid before Parliament

             (1)  This section applies if the Minister designates a country to be an offshore assessment country under subsection 198AB(1).

             (2)  The Minister must cause to be laid before each House of the Parliament:

                     (a)  a copy of the designation; and

                     (b)  a statement of the Minister’s reasons for thinking it is in the national interest to designate the country to be an offshore assessment country, referring in particular to any assurances of a kind referred to in paragraph 198AB(5)(a) that have been given by the country; and

                     (c)  a copy of the written agreement referred to in subsection 198AB(9); and

                     (d)  a statement about the Minister’s consultations with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration in relation to the designation, including the nature of those consultations; and

                     (e)  any formal statement received pursuant to subsection 198AB(4); and

                      (f)  confirmation that the country is a party to the Regional Cooperation Framework.

             (3)  The Minister must comply with subsection (2) within 2 sitting days of each House of the Parliament after the day on which the designation is made. However, if either of the written agreement referred to at paragraph (2)(c) or a formal statement pursuant to paragraph (2)(e) is not available within that timeframe, the agreement or statement may be laid before each House of the Parliament subsequently, but not later than within 2 sitting days of each House of the Parliament after the day of:

                     (a)  signing of the agreement by both countries, in the case of the written agreement referred to at paragraph (2)(c); or

                     (b)  receipt of the statement, in the case of a formal statement pursuant to paragraph (2)(e).

             (4)  The sole purpose of laying the documents referred to in subsection (2) before the Parliament is to inform the Parliament of the matters referred to in the documents and nothing in the documents affects the validity of the designation. Similarly, the fact that some or all of those documents do not exist does not affect the validity of the designation.

             (5)  A failure to comply with this section does not affect the validity of the designation.

             (6)  In this section, agreement includes an agreement, arrangement or understanding:

                     (a)  whether or not it is legally binding; and

                     (b)  whether it is made before, on or after the commencement of this section.

198AD  Taking offshore entry persons to an offshore assessment country

             (1)  Subject to sections 198AE and 198AF, this section applies to an offshore entry person who is detained under section 189.

Note:          For when this section applies to a transitory person, see section 198AG.

             (2)  An officer must, as soon as reasonably practicable, take an offshore entry person to whom this section applies from Australia to an offshore assessment country.

Powers of an officer

             (3)  For the purposes of subsection (2) and without limiting that subsection, an officer may do any or all of the following things within or outside Australia:

                     (a)  place the offshore entry person on a vehicle or vessel;

                     (b)  restrain the offshore entry person on a vehicle or vessel;

                     (c)  remove the offshore entry person from:

                              (i)  the place at which the person is detained; or

                             (ii)  a vehicle or vessel;

                     (d)  use such force as is necessary and reasonable.

             (4)  If, in the course of taking an offshore entry person to an offshore assessment country, an officer considers that it is necessary to return the person to Australia:

                     (a)  subsection (3) applies until the person is returned to Australia; and

                     (b)  section 42 does not apply in relation to the person’s return to Australia.

Ministerial direction

             (5)  If there are 2 or more offshore assessment countries, the Minister must, by legislative instrument, direct an officer to take an offshore entry person, or a class of offshore entry persons, under subsection (2) to the offshore assessment country specified by the Minister in the direction.

             (6)  If the Minister gives an officer a direction under subsection (5), the officer must comply with the direction.

             (7)  The duty under subsection (5) may only be performed by the Minister personally.

             (8)  The only condition for the performance of the duty under subsection (5) is that the Minister thinks that it is in the public interest to direct the officer to take an offshore entry person, or a class of offshore entry persons, under subsection (2) to the offshore assessment country specified by the Minister in the direction.

Not in immigration detention

             (9)  An offshore entry person who is being dealt with under subsection (3) is taken not to be in immigration detention (as defined in subsection 5(1)).

Meaning of officer

           (10)  In this section, officer means an officer within the meaning of section 5, and includes a member of the Australian Defence Force.

198AE  No offshore assessment country

                   Section 198AD does not apply to an offshore entry person if there is no offshore assessment country.

198AF  Non‑acceptance by offshore assessment country

                   Section 198AD does not apply to an offshore entry person if the offshore assessment country, or each offshore assessment country (if there is more than one such country), has advised an officer, in writing, that the country will not accept the offshore entry person.

Note:          For specification by class, see the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

198AG  Application of section 198AD to certain transitory persons

                   Section 198AD applies, subject to sections 198AE and 198AF, to a transitory person if, and only if:

                     (a)  the person is an offshore entry person who is brought to Australia from an offshore assessment country under section 198B for a temporary purpose; and

                     (b)  the person is detained under section 189; and

                     (c)  the person no longer needs to be in Australia for the temporary purpose (whether or not the purpose has been achieved); and

                     (d)  in the case where the person has not made a request under section 198C—an assessment of whether or not the person is covered by the definition of refugee in Article 1A of the Refugees Convention as amended by the Refugees Protocol was not completed while the person was in the offshore assessment country; and

                     (e)  in the case where the person has made such a request—a certificate is in force under section 198D in relation to the person.

198AH  Ministerial report

                   The Minister must, as soon as practicable after 30 June in each year, cause to be laid before each House of Parliament a report setting out:

                     (a)  the activities conducted under the Bali Process during the year ending on 30 June; and

                     (b)  the steps taken in relation to people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crime to support the Regional Cooperation Framework during the year ending on 30 June; and

                     (c)  the progress made in relation to people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crime under the Regional Cooperation Framework during the year ending on 30 June.

Subdivision CTransitory persons etc.

28  Subsection 198D(3) (paragraph (c) of the definition of uncooperative conduct)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  the detention of the person under section 189;

                     (d)  the taking of the person to an offshore assessment country under section 198AD;

                     (e)  the detention of the person in an offshore assessment country.

29  At the end of section 199

Add:

             (4)  In paragraphs (1)(a), (2)(a) and (3)(a), a reference to remove includes a reference to take to an offshore assessment country.

30  Subparagraph 336E(2)(a)(vi)

After “removed”, insert “, taken”.

31  Subparagraph 336F(5)(c)(ii)

Omit “to whom Australia owes”, substitute “in respect of whom Australia has protection”.

32  Subsection 486B(1)

After “deportation,”, insert “taking,”.

33  Paragraph 486C(1)(a)

After “deportation,”, insert “taking,”.

34  Paragraph 494AA(1)(d)

Before “section”, insert “repealed”.

35  At the end of subsection 494AA(1)

Add:

                   ; (e)  proceedings relating to the performance or exercise of a function, duty or power under Subdivision B of Division 8 of Part 2 in relation to an offshore entry person.

36  After paragraph 494AB(1)(c)

Insert:

                    (ca)  proceedings relating to the performance or exercise of a function, duty or power under Subdivision B of Division 8 of Part 2 in relation to a transitory person;

37  Application—section 198AD of the Migration Act 1958

Section 198AD of the Migration Act 1958, as inserted by this Schedule, applies in relation to an offshore entry person who enters Australia on or after the commencement of this item.


 

Schedule 2Other amendments

  

Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946

1  Section 4

Insert:

migration law means any of the following:

                     (a)  the Migration Act 1958;

                     (b)  regulations made under that Act;

                     (c)  any instrument made under that Act or those regulations.

2  Section 4

Insert:

offshore assessment country has the same meaning as in the Migration Act 1958.

3  Section 6

Before “The Minister”, insert “(1)”.

4  At the end of section 6

Add:

             (2)  Without limiting the meaning of the expression leaves Australia permanently in subsection (1), a non‑citizen child leaves Australia permanently if:

                     (a)  the child is removed from Australia under section 198 or 199 of the Migration Act 1958; or

                     (b)  the child is taken from Australia to an offshore assessment country under section 198AD of that Act; or

                     (c)  the child is deported under section 200 of that Act; or

                     (d)  the child is taken to a place outside Australia under paragraph 245F(9)(b) of that Act.

5  Subsection 6A(4)

Repeal the subsection.

6  Section 8 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

8  Operation of other laws

7  Section 8

Before “Except as”, insert “(1)”.

8  At the end of section 8

Add:

             (2)  Nothing in this Act:

                     (a)  affects the operation of the migration law; or

                     (b)  affects the performance or exercise, or the purported performance or exercise, of any function, duty or power under the migration law; or

                     (c)  imposes any obligation on the Minister to exercise, or to consider exercising, any power conferred on the Minister by or under the migration law.

             (3)  Without limiting subsection (2), nothing in this Act affects the performance or exercise, or the purported performance or exercise, of any function, duty or power relating to:

                     (a)  the removal of a non‑citizen child from Australia under section 198 or 199 of the Migration Act 1958; or

                     (b)  the taking of a non‑citizen child from Australia to an offshore assessment country under section 198AD of that Act; or

                     (c)  the deportation of a non‑citizen child under section 200 of that Act; or

                     (d)  the taking of a non‑citizen child to a place outside Australia under paragraph 245F(9)(b) of that Act.