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Law Research Seminar Series - Crimmigration and Refugees in Australia

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

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Crimmigration and Refugees in Australia: Visa Cancellation on Criminality Grounds and 'Living in the Community' as Punishment and Deterrence.

Speaker: Anthea Vogl


This paper explores shifts in the practices of onshore immigration detention in Australia to argue that use of temporary visas to release asylum seekers from mandatory detention is now central to the punishment of unauthorised refugee arrivals. Using crimmigration as a framework, the paper argues that Australia’s highly discretionary bridging visa regime, which enables release from detention, should not be analysed as a practice ancillary to the primary policy of mandatory detention but as central to the logic of deterrence of asylum seekers seeking protection within Australian territory.

While bridging visas have been deployed as part of the closure of detention centres, the highly conditional visas and the release they enable are best understood as forms of punishment and exclusion. The second part of the paper focusses on the use of broad visa cancellation powers against asylum seekers in the community on behavioural and criminal grounds, and analyses visa cancellation data from 2014-2016. The visa cancellation powers, including Australia’s Asylum Seeker Code of Behaviour, constitute textbook examples of crimmigration practice. Criminal and immigration law operate interchangeably, such that both criminal law, and refugee-specific behavioural offences that far exceed the criminal law are used to surveil, punish and deter asylum seekers awaiting resolution of their refugee claims and status.

About the Speaker

Dr Anthea Vogl is a lecturer in refugee and migration law at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Her research addresses racialised practices of border control, with a particular focus on the use of administrative powers and decision-making to punish and exclude refugees and non-citizens. She lectures in Administrative Law, Legal Theory and runs a clinical Refugee Law and Practice subject. Her current research projects address visa cancellation on criminal and behavioural grounds among asylum seeker populations, and the private sponsorship of humanitarian entrants in Australia. She also co-convenes the Australian refugee advocacy network, Academics for Refugees. Anthea holds a PhD in law from the University of British Columbia and the University of Technology Sydney (jointly awarded); an LLM (McGill) and an LLB(Hons)/BA (USYD). 

Law Research Seminars are held on Wednesdays at lunchtime. The seminars are free and open to the public, and a light lunch is provided. Latecomers may not be admitted. Please note that photographs may be taken at this event.

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