The SZQRB Full Federal Court judgment (SZQRB judgment) found that some International Treaty Obligations Assessments (ITOAs) did not apply the correct test to determine whether Australia's non-refoulement (non-return) obligations under complementary protection were met in relation to protection assessments of some illegal maritime arrivals (IMAs) and non-IMAs. The Full Federal Court also found that procedural fairness requirements in relation to adverse country information were not met.
This case also affects IMAs assessed through the Post Review Protection Check (PRPC) assessment and non-IMAs who had a Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) decision or did not seek review of their protection visa decision made before 24 March 2012.
Meaning of non-refoulement
Non-refoulement refers to the Government's responsibility not to return people to their home country where it is assessed that they would suffer certain types of harm.
What the Government is doing about the SZQRB judgment
If you are affected by the SZQRB judgment, your protection claims will be re-assessed through an ITOA process. It will take into consideration all new information you provide, including any non-refoulement concerns. You might be invited to attend an interview if the assessing officer needs to clarify any issues with you.
Determining if you are affected by the SZQRB judgment
You might be affected by the SZQRB judgment if:
- you have a decision by the RRT made on or after 24 March 2012 and a Ministerial Intervention request has been lodged
- you are an IMA that has had a review decision by an Independent Protection Assessor made on or after 24 March 2012
- you have a decision by the RRT made before 24 March 2012 where you did not seek Ministerial Intervention or the RRT has not made a recommendation to refer the case for Ministerial Intervention
- you have a decision by the RRT made before 24 March 2012 and did seek or were referred for Ministerial Intervention under section 417/48B
- you have a decision by the Independent Protection Assessment Office made before 24 March 2012
- you have a primary protection visa decision after 24 March 2012 where you did not seek merits review by the RRT and you are now outside the time limit to do so.
If you are affected, we will send you a letter inviting you to submit any further claims for protection or additional information in support of your claims.
What this means for people who are affected by the SZQRB judgment
If you are affected by the SZQRB judgment, the re-assessment process has commenced. You will receive a letter inviting you to submit any further claims for protection or additional information in support of your claims. It is important to keep your contact details current with us.
In most instances, a re-assessment of your complementary protection claims will then be conducted through the ITOA process and will take into consideration the new information you provide, including any non-refoulement concerns you raise.
You will be given an opportunity to comment on any relevant adverse country information concerning your claims. You could be invited to attend an interview with us to assist in the assessment of your claims.
If you have engaged your own migration agent, they might assist you.
You can choose to return home or to your country of lawful permanent residence at any time. If you are thinking about returning home, you might be able to get assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The type of assistance is based on your individual circumstances.
People who are affected by both the SZQRB judgment and the website privacy breach
You will have your protection claims assessed through the ITOA process. You will be able to include claims related to the privacy breach as part of this assessment process.
Lawful arrivals who have been found to engage non-refoulement obligations
Your protection visa application will be progressed and, if you meet all requirements, you could be granted a permanent Protection visa.
Illegal arrivals who have been found to engage non-refoulement obligations
Your protection visa application will be progressed and, if you meet all requirements, you could be granted a Temporary Protection visa or a Safe Haven Enterprise visa.
People who are found not to engage non-refoulement obligations
If you have been found not to engage non-refoulement obligations, you are expected to return home.
Processing times for assessment of claims for people affected by SZQRB
From the time you provide any additional information to us, it could take approximately 8 to 12 weeks for further assessment of your claims, depending on your circumstances.