26 May 2014

Australian lawyer says visa process in Nauru is inadequate

8:20 am on 26 May 2014

A human rights lawyer says there is inadequate oversight in Nauru to ensure the process of granting refugee visas is fair and just.

Last week the first thirteen asylum seekers were granted refugee visas in Nauru, and 11 were in Manus.

The Nauruan visas are valid for five years.

Seven applicants were refused visas in Nauru.

An Australian lawyer, Julian Burnside (QC), says the Nauruan government has no regard for the rule of law, and there is no process of review for those who have applications for refugee visas declined.

"The rule of law has collapsed and that means that any refugees who fail in their refugee application and could test that rejection in court do not have the protection of a functioning legal system."

Julian Burnside says it is ludicrous to think new refugees will be self-sufficient in a year, considering Nauru's weak governance and economy.