Peo­ple must be the judge

The Saturday Paper - - Letters & Editorial -

How dis­grace­ful that Ken­neth Hayne, of the bank­ing royal com­mis­sion, was a part of the 2004 High Court AlKateb v God­win de­ci­sion that a state­less per­son can be locked up for­ever. He may well be do­ing a good job now, but he should have re­cused him­self rather than make such an ap­palling, anti-hu­man-rights de­ci­sion (Richard Ack­land, “Hayne and able”, April 28–May 4). As usual, it is your pa­per that is break­ing the si­lence on the vi­o­la­tion of the hu­man rights of refugees. Thanks to the Refugee Ac­tion Coali­tion, Greens Se­na­tor Nick McKim made pub­lic in Syd­ney what he had seen on Manus Is­land last year when the men re­sisted Aus­tralian-spon­sored vi­o­lence with for­ti­tude and ethics. McKim talked about a royal com­mis­sion that would one day hold both par­ties to ac­count. I think we can­not wait that long. We need a peo­ple’s com­mis­sion that will counter this creep­ing fas­cism, and hold past and present gov­ern­ments to ac­count for their vi­o­la­tion of the 1951 UN Refugee Con­ven­tion. I sug­gest the ma­jor re­li­gious in­sti­tu­tions and pro­fes­sional groups step for­ward. I would help in any way I can. We can­not wait for a royal com­mis­sion. We need our own as soon as pos­si­ble.

– Stephen Lang­ford, Padding­ton, NSW

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