Australian PM refuses to deny paying people smugglers – reaction from Kathryn Cronin on Al Jazeera

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Kathryn Cronin, Joint Head of Chambers at Garden Court Chambers, was interviewed on Al Jazeera about claims that Australian border officials paid an asylum-seeker boat crew to turn back to Indonesia.

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Australia's Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has refused to say whether his country's authorities paid people smugglers, saying Australia was determined to stop refugees arriving “by hook or by crook”.

Kathryn Cronin said:

“Australia has a very poor record in terms of the way it deals with refugees. There a number of ways in which Australia is in breach of the Refugee Convention. For their head of state to say they will do things by crook is to attest to an improper or illegal approach to refugee resettlement.”

Kathryn Cronin is a leading expert on immigration law and a member of the Garden Court immigration team. Kathryn was formerly associate professor in law at the University of New South Wales in Australia and deputy president of the Australian Law Reform Commission.

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