Greater Transparency For Refugee And Migration Tribunals

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17th February 2009, 04:10pm - Views: 551
Greater transparency for refugee and migration tribunals

The Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) will publish its country of origin research to provide greater transparency in its decision making, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said today.

Senator Evans said the information will be available online from this week so the community can better understand the reasons behind the tribunal's decisions.

"This is an important development in demonstrating the openness and accountability of the tribunal and its decision making processes," Senator Evans said.

"The publication of the Refugee Review Tribunal's country of origin research will provide greater access to justice to protection visa applicants, migration advisers and the public."

More than 450 research documents from the major countries of reference for RRT reviews will initially be published, including country of origin information from China, India, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Pakistan and Vietnam.

The research published includes general background information, commissioned research and opinions from academics and experts as well as responses researched in answer to specific questions posed by RRT members in relation to particular reviews. These responses are carefully edited to protect the identity and privacy of individual visa applicants and to maintain the integrity of the review process.

The RRT will publish country of origin research dating back three years. As new research is added to the website, older and out of date material will be archived, so that the research readily available to the public is the most recent and current.

"The Research and Information Section has earned a high reputation among refugee agencies worldwide and is considered a quality research model for refugee decision-making in other countries," Senator Evans said.

Senator Evans said that the RRT and the Migration Review Tribunal will also double the number of decisions published online so that 40 per cent of all decisions made by the tribunals will be publicly available. The move follows community requests to see more tribunal decisions published.

"The tribunals publish a broad cross section of their decisions in the public interest and doubling the number available will increase the transparency of the decision making and further improve understanding of this important merits review function," Senator Evans said.

The tribunals' research and decisions can be obtained online along with further information about the roles of the RRT and MRT at: www.mrt-rrt.gov.au

Media Contact:
Simon Dowding
(02) 6277 7860
or 0411 138 541

SOURCE: Minister for Immigration and Citizenship


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