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Australia court says Papua New Guinea camp for asylum seekers is legal

Published on Jun 18, 2014 11:38 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's highest court on Wednesday dismissed a challenge to the government's policy of sending asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea, ruling detention at an island immigration camp legal.

An Iranian who arrived at Australia's Indian Ocean territory of Christmas Island by boat in July 2013 brought the case after he was transferred to PNG's Manus Island.

His lawyers questioned whether two sections of Australia's Migration Act, under which a minister can name another nation as a "regional processing country" and send asylum seekers there, were valid under the constitution.

The full bench of the High Court unanimously upheld both sections as legal. "The plaintiff's challenges to their validity fail," the full bench said in its judgment.

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