High Court rules immigration detention of Indigenous man Brendan Thoms was legal

The High Court found that the immigration detention of Aboriginal Brendan Thoms was lawful.

Mr Thoms, 33, born in New Zealand, spent more than 500 days in immigration detention awaiting deportation, following a prison sentence.

But he was released when the High Court ruled Indigenous Australians could not be deported.

Mr Thoms tried to sue the Commonwealth, claiming his detention was unlawful, but today the High Court found that was not the case.

The detention took place before the High Court decision

Although Mr. Thoms holds Aboriginal title as a member of the Gunggari people, because he was born overseas, he does not have Australian citizenship.

As a result, when imprisoned for domestic violence, he failed his migration test and was placed in immigration detention pending deportation.

The Commonwealth told the High Court that immigration laws required an officer to detain a person if they were suspected of being an unlawful non-citizen and, as the High Court had not yet ruled on the issue of Whether Indigenous Australians were subject to immigration laws, Mr Thom’s detention was legal at the time.

More soon.

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