5 Oct 2015

Australian case to go ahead despite Nauru 'open centre' move

5:55 pm on 5 October 2015

Australia's Human Rights Law Centre says a High Court hearing into the lawfulness of offshore detention will go ahead this week despite a recent announcement the Nauru facility has become an 'open centre'.

The Nauru government says from today, asylum seekers are free to come and go from the detention centre 24 hours a day.

The law centre's director of legal advocacy Daniel Webb says the transition to an open centre comes two days before the High Court in Canberra examines Australia's role in offshore detention on Nauru.

Mr Webb says it remains to be seen what impact the announcement will have on the case.

"This annoucement comes more than three years after Australia recommenced sending people to detention on Nauru, but just a couple of days before the highest court in the country is to assess the lawfulness of that detention. So I will leave it to others to speculate as to the timing of this annoucement."

Daniel Webb says the opening up of Nauru's asylum seeker detention centres is welcome but fundamental problems remain.