Australia has challenged the United Nations over the issue of jurisdiction of its asylum seekers, saying the governments of Nauru and Papua New Guinea are responsible for their care.
Australian officials have defended their record on the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees at a meeting of the UN Committee Against Torture in Geneva this week.
A member of the Australian delegation, Stephen Bouwhuis, says while the views of the Committee are considered seriously, they don't bind the Australian government.
Mr Bouwhuis told the Committee the UN concerns over the processing centres should be redirected to Nauru and PNG.
"Asylum seekers are processed under the laws of those countries and as such those governments are the ones exercising the elements of sovereign authority in their own territory. Yes Australia acknowledges that it does contribute funding to the centres, but that's not the same as exercising jurisdiction as recognised under international law."
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