Court asked to dismiss Asylum seekers case

The Supreme Court was asked today to dismiss the case filed by 300 Asylum seekers held at the Manus Regional Processing Centre.

Lawyer representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Rimbink Pato and the Chief Migration Officer, Mataio Rabura moved an application before a three-judge Supreme Court bench today, seeking the dismissal of the case which the Asylum seekers filed last year. 

Ian Molloy moved the application before Justices Goodwin Poole, David Cannings and Hitelai Polume-Kiele. 

He told the court there is a defect in the proceeding which was filed as an application on the enforcement of human rights, under section 57 of the Constitution. 

He said the Asylum seekers lawyer, Ben Lomai failed to comply with the right Supreme Court rules on the signature of the Asylum seekers as applicants in the case. 

“Requirement of rules must be strictly complied with and failure to comply with the requirements of Supreme Court rules is fatal,” Molloy told the court. 

Retired Federal Court of Australia judge, Ron Merkel was lead counsel acting for the Manus asylum seekers in court today and was assisted by Lomai. 

He told the court that Lomai was given consent by the Asylum Seekers as their lawyer to sign and file the application on their behalf. 

Merkel said the court to dismiss Minister Pato’s application seeking to dismiss the whole proceeding. 

A ruling on that application is expected at 3pm today. 

If Pato’s application is favourable, the case will be dismissed however if it fails, the court will proceed to hearing another application which was filed by Lomai, who is acting for the Asylum Seekers. 

Lomai’s application is seeking summary determination of the case following the five-man Supreme Court bench’s ruling on April 26, declaring the centre illegal and unconstitutional. 

Sally Pokiton