8 Oct 2015

High Court challenge to Australia's offshore detention ends

8:41 pm on 8 October 2015

Australia's highest court has reserved its judgement in a case that challenges the constitutionality of Canberra's offshore detention of asylum seekers in the Pacific.

High Court of Australia.

High Court of Australia. Photo: Australian government

The two-day hearing was brought by the Human Rights Law Centre on behalf of 150 asylum seekers who were temporarily moved to Australia from Nauru for medical treatment.

The Centre's director of legal advocacy, Daniel Webb, says Nauru's recent move to open the centre there was a significant development in the case, but doesn't address its fundamental aspects.

Mr Webb says the families involved face a nervous wait for the court's judgement.

"They live with the uncertainty of one day being uprooted and sent back to an offshore environment that's already caused them a great deal of harm. And I think quite aside from the outcome of this case, Australia should not, as a matter of basic decency, warehouse anyone on a remote island."

Daniel Webb says the outcome of the case could significantly impact Australia's offshore detention policies.