Phi Finney McDonald recently acted for an asylum seeker before the Full Court of the High Court of Australia. The case involved novel questions of international law, including a ground of appeal common to, and heard jointly with, appeals to the High Court brought by two other asylum seekers.
Phi Finney McDonald is a participant in Justice Connect’s Nauru Network. We are proud to fight for people who might otherwise be denied access to the legal system because of financial, social or other barriers.
On 7 February 2018, the Full Court of the High Court of Australia heard an appeal from a decision of the Supreme Court of Nauru, that held the Appellant (an asylum seeker of Pakistani origin) was not entitled to protection under the Refugees Convention Act 2012 (Nr) and was not owed complementary protection under international law.
Phi Finney McDonald acted for the Appellant in DWN027 v the Republic of Nauru (M145/2017).
This is an important case in a number of respects. First, the High Court was asked to determine whether the Supreme Court incorrectly included a “reasonable relocation” test in applying the law of complementary protection. Second, the High Court was asked to determine whether the Supreme Court failed to give “primary consideration” to the best interests of the Appellant’s child in finding that the Appellant could relocate within his home country. Third, the High Court was asked to determine whether the Supreme Court failed to consider all facts relating to the Appellant’s objections to relocation within Pakistan. The first two grounds of appeal involve novel questions of international law.
The first ground of appeal is common to two other current appeals to the High Court, brought by other Appellants who are represented by Allens and Fitzroy Legal Service.