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‘Fast track’ asylum processing risks fairness for efficiency

Kenny, M.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-5352-7549 and Procter, N. (2014) ‘Fast track’ asylum processing risks fairness for efficiency. The Conversation, 8 December 2014 .

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After much controversy, the Senate passed the Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 late last week. One aspect of the law – the “fast track assessment” procedure – constitutes a radical shift in the manner in which a large number of asylum seekers’ claims for protection will be processed.

Research has demonstrated that long periods waiting for the processing of claims can lead to mental illness. A lack of work rights combined with ongoing uncertainty is also associated with deepening mental deterioration.

Asylum seekers in the current backlog have been waiting in limbo for almost two years to have their protection claims assessed, so the opportunity to have their claims heard will be welcome for many. However, the new assessment procedure carries real risks of privileging efficiency at the expense of fairness.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Law
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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