Evaluate the effectiveness of the legal processes and institutions available to migrants in order to achieve justice.

Migrants in Australia have always been looked upon as second class citizens. They are seen as ripping of the government, and taking the tax payers money. Migrants have only been allowed to enter the legal system in the past 20 years. This means that the effectiveness of the legal processes and institutions available to migrants have been very minimal. Today there are many ways that migrants can seek legal aid, and achieve justice. The effectiveness of these procedures is still relatively low.

Most migrants enter the legal system when they wish to appeal an immigration decision. The ways that these appeals have been dealt with has varied over the previous years, and currently in debate is the potential problem of migrant’s legal needs. Now there are is an agency that allows migrants to enter the legal system. This is the department of immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). This allowed migrants to step forward and provide evidence in why they would be eligible to migrate permanently to Australia. This would include, family, friends and work experience. Although this has been established and has made it much easier for migrants to enter the legal system, it is still not that effective.

When the department of immigration was around, there were a lot of faults and discrepancies in the system. There was a lot of corruption in the migration courts that led to migrants being unable to receive justice. Under the common law, the government could set aside the decision of and government body, if it was proven to be incorrect. This meant that if the decision maker ignored relevant evidence, considered irrelevant evidence, didn’t let applicant have an opportunity present their side in the case, made a decision that they were not able to make or were bias. They would then re asses the situation and the migrants needs/wants and deal with them in a fair and appropriate manner. This helped a lot of migrants that were completely opposed in the tribunal and allowed a fair chance for them to succeed in migration.

Challenging the Department of immigration became a lot easier in 1992. This was because special review procedures were set up for immigration decisions and amendments to the migration act 1958. The Migration internal review office (MIRO) and the Immigration Review tribunal (IRT) were established in 1994 as a means of help for migrants that had loop holes throughout their case. These two organizations allowed migrants to seek a review of immigration decisions in the federal court. Migrants who wished to appeal a department decision first had to lodge a claim of reassessment to the MIRO, and were ale to introduce new evidence in support of their application. A MIRO officer would consider this and any other relevet evidence and occasionally request an interview with the applicant before deciding to change the previous decision. This meant that through this long process, migrants who were treated unfair and were not allowed to enter into the country had a second chance. This also showed that the effectiveness of the migration legal system had improved. The MIRO also had applicants that were not happy with their outcome of the MIRO review and could then further lodge another review through the IRT. The IRT would look at all of the facts and determine whether the final decision was correct. If the wrong decision was proven to have been made, the IRT had the power to change the decision. The government abolished the MIRO and the IRT in 1999 and changed it to the migration review tribunal MRT.

Sjilled, family or special migrants have the power now to lodge a complaint to the MRT if they feel that the decisions made are incorrect. Appealing to the MRT has a cost of $1400, and the MRT will conduct a court like hearing, they will consider any further evidence presented by the applicant and the department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). The applicant is able to seek advice from a lawyer before the hearing, but is not allowed to be legally represented in the actual hearing. Once a decision is made in the tribunal, the decision is considered as binding and there is nothing else that can be done to change the decision. The migrant is able to take the matter to the federal court and if they have an eligible reason or appropriate evidence, they can possibly influence the decision. This also shows that the effectiveness has gotten better during the course of time but is still not 100 percent efficient. This is because there is a huge amount of legal work and requirements needed to be established before there is a decision made.

Under the International law, migrants are accepted and treated very well. International law protects the fundamental rights of all people, and provides adequate protection for migrants. In some countries people are not allowed to have rights but as a migrant from a country, human rights are protected under a number of international treaties that ofcourse have been signed by Australia. These include the universal declaration of human rights (1948), the international covenant on civil and political rights (1966) and the international covenant on civil and political rights. Migrants are also given special protection from discrimination by these acts and are ratified under Australia as the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (commonwealth). These international laws must be followed by Australia and promote safety for migrants that enter our country. These laws provide effectiveness and efficiency in Australia and all around the world.

After analyzing the effectiveness and institutions available to migrants I am able to see that migrants are able to enter the legal system but not easily. The struggle through time has lead to migrants being able to migrate to Australia, but not effectively nor efficiently. Migrant problems in general take a huge amount of tax payer’s money that could be used elsewhere. This shows us that there is more that needs to be done in order for the justice system available to migrants is effective.


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