- Australia is the only country to assess refugee protection based on mode of arrival
- The past nine months has seen at least seven significant legislative changes, leaving thousands of asylum seekers in limbo
- In March, the Government removed legal aid provided under the Immigration Advice and Application Assistance Scheme
Refugee law and policy in Australia has always been subject to political expediency. As a specialist refugee legal centre that has been assisting asylum seekers on a not-for-profit basis since 1988, the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) is accustomed to abrupt and often unexpected legal changes. However, the state of flux in law and policy over the past nine months has, by any standard, been extreme. During this period, we have advised hundreds of asylum seekers on at least seven significant legislative changes. For our clients and other asylum seekers requesting protection in Australia, the impact of these changes and the state of uncertainty created has been severe.