17 Apr 2014

Transfer of 26 babies born to asylum seekers in Australia on hold

3:20 pm on 17 April 2014

26 babies born in Australia to asylum seeker parents will not be transferred to Nauru or to Papua New Guinea detention centres this weekend as expected.

The immigration minister, Scott Morrison, provided an undertaking not to send the babies offshore after the law firm Maurice Blackburn threatened urgent court action.

The firm's principal, Jacob Varghese, says the babies and their families are allowed to stay until a court decision on another baby known as Ferouz is made next month.

"I think the government always has to do the right thing, and they don't have to send these babies to Nauru or Manus island. The minister has discretion to be compassionate and we think that babies shouldn't be in detention full stop. But they certainly shouldn't be in detention in Manus Island or Nauru.

Jacob Varghese, principal at Maurice Blackburn in Australia