High Court Ruling is a Low Blow to Equality and Democracy
Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, 17 February 2020
The High Court decision to introduce a race-based test for the differential treatment of criminals under Australian law is undemocratic. It transfers the authority to determine who enters Australia from millions of citizens and our elected parliament to unelected lawyers. It establishes race privilege — racism — as a right. It poses a threat to social cohesion by dividing Australians into racial categories and offering special protections to a minority. And it threatens the safety of law-abiding citizens by providing for a criminal class that cannot be deported.
The perverse incentive created by the High Court is that if a foreign national with indigenous status commits a violent crime in Australia, they won’t have to leave.
The two men granted special recognition by the High Court were facing deportation on character grounds because they committed violent crimes against people in Australia. New Zealander Brendan Thoms was convicted of a domestic violence offence. Daniel Love, a citizen of Papua New Guinea, was convicted of assault occasioning bodily harm. Neither of them has Australian citizenship.